Indonesia State Administrative Court: A Closer Look


What is the State Administrative Court?

The State Administrative Court, often referred to as Pengadilan Tata Usaha Negara (“PTUN”), is one of the judicial bodies that serves the public seeking justice in disputes related to state administrative matters 1. So, what does a state administrative dispute entail? A state administrative dispute arises when there are differences of opinion regarding state administrative matters between individuals, civil legal entities and State Administrative Entities or Officials both at the central and regional levels as a result of the issuance of State Administrative Decrees or Keputusan Tata Usaha Negara. The lawsuit can be filed by individuals, civil legal entities, or State Civil Apparatus/Aparatur Sipil Negara against  a State Administrative Decree in the context of state administrative affairs. This kind of dispute also encompasses State Civil Apparatus disputes based on relevant legal regulations. 2

Legal Basis of PTUN

  1. Law Number 5 of 1986 concerning State Administrative Courts (“Law 5/1986”);
  2. Law Number 9 of 2004 concerning The Amendment of Law Number 5 of 1986 concerning State Administrative Courts (“Law 9/2004”);
  3. Law Number 51 of 2009 concerning The Second Amendment of Law Number 5 of 1986 concerning State Administrative Courts (“Law 51/2009”);
  4. Constitutional Court Decision Number 17/PUU-IX/2011;
  5. Constitutional Court Decision Number 37/PUU-X/2012;
  6. Constitutional Court Decision Number 43/PUU-XIII/2015.


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Authority and Duties of PTUN 

PTUN has the responsibility and authority to examine, adjudicate, and resolve state administrative disputes within the field of state administrative law at the primary level. 3

Based on the explanation of what a state administrative dispute entails, it can be concluded that within the scope of PTUN, the plaintiff can be an individual, civil legal entity or State Civil Apparatus filing a lawsuit, while the defendant can be a State Administrative Entities or Officials. The subject of contention or dispute revolves around State Administrative Decrees issued by State Administrative Entities or Officials, often referred to as “beschikking“.

Relative and Absolute Competence of PTUN 

The court’s jurisdiction to adjudicate a case can be categorized into two types i. e, relative competence and absolute competence. Relative competence refers to the court’s authority to examine cases within the boundaries of its jurisdiction, which includes the location where the defendant resides or where the defendant is actually situated (if the defendant’s place of residence is unknown). On the other hand, absolute competence pertains to the court’s authority to adjudicate cases based on the subject matter of the dispute.

The relative competence of PTUN is regulated under Article 6 of Law 5/1986. This regulation states that if PTUN is located in a city or the capital of a district, its jurisdiction encompasses that city or district. Similarly, the State Administrative High Court or Pengadilan Tinggi Tata Usaha Negara (“PT TUN”), which is located in a provincial capital, has jurisdiction over the entire province. 


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Law 5/1986 states that Administrative dispute lawsuits must be filed to the court of which the jurisdiction covers: 4

  1. the defendant’s residence in case the plaintiff and the defendant reside within the jurisdiction of the same court; 
  2. the residence of one of the defendants in case there are multiple defendants, and they reside within the jurisdiction of different courts;
  3. The plaintiff’s residence, forwarded to the court with jurisdiction over the defendant’s residence in case the defendant’s domicile is not within the jurisdiction of the court where the plaintiff resides;
  4. The plaintiff’s residence, in cases the dispute is related to the administrative matters stipulated by Government Regulation;
  5. PTUN Jakarta, in cases where the plaintiff’s residence and the defendant’s residence are both outside the country; 
  6. The defendant’s residence, in cases where the plaintiff’s residence is outside the country, but the defendant’s residence is within the country.

As previously mentioned, the absolute competence of PTUN, or the subject matter of disputes in PTUN concerns State Administrative Decrees or “beschikking” issued by state Administrative Entities or Officials e.g., policies. This absolute competence also encompasses State Civil Apparatus disputes based on applicable legal regulations. 

In the context of State Civil Apparatus disputes, State Civil Apparatus who are dissatisfied with a decree issued by the Personnel Officer or Pejabat Pembina Kepegawaian (“PPK”) may initiate an administrative remedy5, either through an objection or an administrative appeal. 6 Subsequently, if the PPK does not make any decision within a period of more than 21 working days, the State Civil Apparatus is entitled to file a legal remedy with the State Administrative Court. 7

The conditions for a state administrative decree to become the subject matter of a dispute in PTUN are as follows: 8

    1. written decision;
    2. issued by a State Administrative Entities/official;
    3. constituting an act of state administrative law;
    4. based on relevant legal regulations;
    5. concrete, individual, and final; and
    6. generating legal consequences for an individual or civil legal entity.

Dispute Settlement Process in PTUN 

The following is the process for resolving a dispute in PTUN under Law 5/1986:


Dispute Settlement Process at PTUN


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Disclaimer: This article has been prepared for scientific reading and marketing purposes only from ADCO Law. Accordingly, all the writings contained herein do not constitute the formal legal opinion of ADCO Law. Therefore, ADCO Law should be held harmless of and/or cannot be held responsible for anything performed by entities who use this writing outside the purposes of ADCO Law.