Indonesia’s Approach to International Treaties Balancing National Interests and International Obligations

Main Article Content

Atip Latipulhayat


The relation and interaction between international and domestic law is one of the classic issues in international and it controversy remains in the realm of theory and practice. This is an issue of which many generations of both international and constitutional lawyers have wrestled, are wrestling and will continue to wrestle. For the Indonesian context, this issue is also still far from clear. The Indonesian Constitution of 1945 stipulates that the President of the Republic of Indonesia has the authority to conclude treaties with other countries. However, it does not clearly and specifically govern the status and position of international treaties under the Constitution. As a result, the Indonesian approach to international treaty is rather pragmatic, which is susceptible to some inconsistencies. It can be seen for instance in several decisions of the Indonesian Constitutional Court that clearly demonstrates the ambiguity towards international treaty. The Indonesian Parliament (DPR) argues that Indonesia should put emphasize to the national interests when Indonesia concluded international treaties. For a certain extent this approach is vulnerable to disregard international obligations in the name of national interests. There are some legislation for instance in the field of trade, which contains national interests clause that potentially will put Indonesia as the party that disregards its international obligations. This paper argues that national interests and international obligations are mutually inclusive, and not mutually exclusive element. To this end, international treaties should have a clear status and position under the Indonesian constitution to ensure that national interest and international obligation are working in harmony.

Article Details

How to Cite
Latipulhayat, A., & Dwi Harijanti, S. (2022). Indonesia’s Approach to International Treaties: Balancing National Interests and International Obligations. Padjadjaran Journal of International Law, 6(2), 201-216.


Daniel Patrick O’Connell, International Law, Stevens, London, 1970.
Rafael Domingo, The New Global Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010.
From the International Law of Christianity to the International Law of the World Citizen: Reflections on the Formation of the Epochs of the History of International Law”, Journal of the History of International Law, Vol. 3, Issue 3, 2001.
Atip Latipulhayat, ‘Internationalization of International Law: From Hegemony to Harmony of Norms’, Paper Presented at the 5th AsianSIL Biennial Conference, Bangkok, 26-27 November, 2015.
Damos Dumoli Agusman, Treaties Under Indonesian Law: A Comparative Study, Rosda, Bandung, 2014.
David Haljan, Separating Powers: International Law Before National Courts, Springer, The Hague, 2013
David J. Bederman, Globalization and International Law, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2008.
Rett R.Ludwikowski, “Supreme Law or Basic Law?: The Decline of the Concept of Constitutional Supremacy”, Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol. 9, Issue 2, 2001
Mahkamah Konstitusi, Naskah Komprehensif Perubahan Undang-Undang Dasar Negara Republik Indonesia Tahun 1945, Buku IV Kekuasaan Pemerintahan Negara Jilid 1, Jakarta: Sekretariat Jenderal dan Kepaniteraan Mahkamah Konstitusi, 2008.
Christopher Weeramantry, Universalising International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, the Netherlands, 2004.
Sunaryati Hartono, “The interaction between National Law and International Law in Indonesia” in Paul Waart, et al. (eds.), International Law and Development, Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht, 1988.
Ko Swan Sik, “International Law in Municipal Legal Orders of Asian States: Virgin Land” in Ronald St. J. Macdonald (ed.), Essays in Honour of Wang Tieya, Martinus Nijjhoff, the Netherlands, 1994
Mochtar Kusumaatmadja, Pengantar Hukum Internasional, Bina Cipta, Bandung, 1976.
Susi Dwi Harijanti & Tim Lindsey, “Indonesia: General Elections test the amended Constitution and the new Constitutional Court”, International Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2006.
Simon Butt, “The Position of International Law Within the Indonesian Legal System”, Emory International Law Review, Vol.8, Issue 1, 2014.
The Court Judgement on Reviewing Law No. 3 of 1997 on Children’s Courts (Children’s Court Law Case) (Constitutional Court No.1/PUU-VIII/2010).
Hillary Charlesworth,, No Country is an Island: Australia and International Law, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2006.