Indonesia International Trade in Legal Services
IBA Global Cross Border Legal Services Report:
Verified by: Roosdiono & Partners (a member ZICOlaw)
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- National licensing requirements
- Regulation of trade in legal services
- Regulation of foreign lawyers
- Regulation of foreign law firms
- Regulation of foreign and domestic lawyer partnership and employment
- Other useful links / sources
Frequently asked questions
- Has this jurisdiction made a binding international treaty commitment to allow foreign legal practice?
- Who is the licensing authority for lawyers?
- How do you qualify as a lawyer in this jurisdiction?
- Is it possible for a foreign lawyer to requalify?
- Can foreign lawyers practise law in this jurisdiction?
- Can foreign lawyers provide services on a fly in – fly out basis?
- Are there any foreign law firms present in this jurisdiction?
- Can foreign law firms establish offices in this jurisdiction?
- Are partnerships between foreign and domestic lawyers allowed?
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National licensing requirements
Law of the Republic of Indonesia No.18 of 2003 concerning Advocates.
Advokat or Advocate
"Admission as a lawyer requires an individual (Article 3 of the Advocates law): (i) To be a national of the Republic of Indonesia; (ii) To be domiciled in Indonesia; (iii) Not to work as a civil service or state official; (iv) To be at least 25 years old; (v) To be a graduate from a law school who has taken the Special Education for Advocates course run by the Advocates Association; (vi) To have passed the bar exam run by the Advocates Association; (vi) To have interned continuously for at least two years in a law office; (vii) Never to have been imprisoned for committing an offence that is punishable by imprisonment of at least five years; (vii) To be well behaved, honest, responsible, fair and have high integrity. PERADI (the Indonesian Advocates' Association) requires an advocate to renew his or her licence every three years. "
A licensed lawyer can practise throughout the country (Article 5(2) of the Advocates Law
"Only those who are licensed to practise law can appear before the court or litigate, as regulated in Article 14 of the Advocates Law. "
Yes, as regulated in the requirements of Advocates in Article 3(1)(a) of the Advocates Law
"An Indonesian lawyer can practise as a self-employed advocate, in a law firm or partnership (maatschap) with two or more advocates (Advocates Ethics Code (Kode Etik Advokat)) "
"Advocates Ethics Code (Kode Etik Advokat). "
"Lawyers who wish to establish a law firm must have a Law Firm Domicile Certificate; notify and obtain an acknowledgement deed from District Court; and notify the relevant Association of Advocates and Local Government office. "
" The High Court of the district in which the individual lawyer is domiciled issues the licence to practice. Law firms do not require a license but must notify the Indonesian Advocates Association. "
Regulation of trade in legal services
Indonesia joined the WTO on 1 January 1995
Indonesia has made no sectoral GATS commitments on legal services
"Indonesia is a member of ASEAN and party to the following ASEAN agreements: ASEAN-Republic of Korea Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, ASEAN-People's Republic of China Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership, ASEAN-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement,ASEAN-Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, ASEAN Free Trade Area, Preferential Tariff Arrangement-Group of Eight Developing Countries Indonesia also has bilateral agreements with Japan (the Japan-Indonesia Economic Partnership Agreement) and Pakistan (the Pakistan-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement). "
In the ASEAN agreement with Australia-NZ, Indonesia includes commitments on legal services, with no restrictions on modes 1 and 2, although it is unbound in mode 3. The ASEAN-Korea agreement speaks of expansion in the depth and scope of liberalisation of trade in services beyond those undertaken by the Parties under GATS but contains no detailed schedules. Indonesia grants bilateral mode 4 access for Japanese lawyers working as experts in the ASEAN-Japan agreement.
In the Indonesia-Japan FTA, Indonesia commits to allow foreign lawyers to work or take part in Indonesian law firm as employees or as experts in International Law. They are not permitted to appear in court and/or undertake legal proceedings. Foreign lawyers are only allowed as employees or experts in Indonesian law firm and the proportion of foreign lawyers in an Indonesian law firm must not exceed 20%, with an overall limit of five foreign lawyers per firm. Foreign lawyers are obliged to provide at least 10 hours of legal knowledge and skills transfer each month free of charge to Indonesian lawyers.
Yes. There are a number of international UK and US law firms with associations with local law firms.
Regulation of foreign lawyers
"Yes, foreign lawyers are not allowed to provide legal advice based on Indonesian laws and regulations and can only give advice based on the country, where they are qualified to practice. For marketing, the Advocates Ethics Code prohibits lawyers, including foreign lawyers to market themselves via mass media or advertisement. "
"Yes, there are no laws or regulations prohibiting foreign lawyers from visiting client in Indonesia provided that they do not provide legal advice based on Indonesian Laws and Regulations. For marketing, the Advocates Ethics Code prohibits lawyers, including foreign lawyer to market themselves via mass media or advertisement. "
Yes, a foreign lawyer can obtain a license to be a foreign legal consultant in Indonesia. The scope of this limited license is: The foreign lawyer must work for the local law firm and cannot work independently; The foreign lawyer cannot provide legal advice based on Indonesian laws and regulations.
Foreign lawyers cannot exceed the ratio 1:4 at a local law firm, with a maximum of five foreign lawyers at the firm. Foreign lawyers must provide free legal services (pro bono) for at least 120 hours per year or ten hours a month at an institution of higher learning, a government institution or in legal research in Indonesia.(Decree No M11-HT.04.02 of 2004 concerning the requirements and procedures of employing foreign lawyers and the obligations of contributing free legal service to legal education and research (available at www.imigrasi.go.id) and Law No 9 of 1992 concerning immigration; the Ministry of Manpower and Trans Migration Ministerial Regulation PER.02/MEN/III/2008 concerning procedures for employing foreign employees (available at www.depnakertrans.go.id)).
A foreign lawyer needs the prior approval of the Indonesian Bar Association and will then need to apply to the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration and Directorate-General of Immigration. In order to obtain the licence, a foreign lawyer should submit the following documents: (a) a copy of their undergraduate or post graduate degree; (b) a letter of statement from the Bar Association verifying his or her status as an active lawyer; and (c) be a member of the Bar Association of his or her country of origin.
Yes, foreign lawyers can undertake arbitration and mediation.
No, foreign lawyers are prohibited to practice in court as regulated by Art. 23 (1) of the Advocates Law.
Requalification as an Indonesian lawyer is not possible because of the nationality requirement for the practice of law
Regulation of foreign law firms
No, as regulated under Article 23 (1) of the Advocates Law.
No, a foreign law firm cannot set up an independent office in Indonesia and only the foreign lawyers can apply for foreign legal consultant. In practice, the foreign law firm will enter into an association with local law firm and send their foreign lawyers to work for the local law firm as foreign legal consultant.
Regulation of foreign and domestic lawyer partnership and employment
Yes, as foreign legal consultant.
Other useful links / sources
"Perhimpunan Advokat Indonesia ((PERADI) — < a href="http://www.peradi.or.id/">www.peradi.or.id) Ministry of Manpower & Trans Migration Ministerial Regulation — < a href="http://www.depnakertrans.go.id/">www.depnakertrans.go.id"