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Procedures and How to Work in Indonesia for Foreign Lawyer

The existence of foreign lawyer in Indonesia was actually done since the Netherlands colonial era. It was quite reduced in the old order, the foreign activity is back or alive in the new order. Especially since the issuance of foreign investment law year 1967 was out.

The researcher of Center for Law and Policy Studies, Miko Susanto Ginting, noted some regulations that made by government, Ministry of Justice in this terms to set the existence of foreign lawyer. It was recorded in the period 1970-2004 Ministry of Justice and Human Rights issued for rules about foreign advocate.

In the last of year, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights issued rule number 26 of 2017 about requirements and procedures hiring foreign lawyer with the obligation of giving legal service for free to the education world and legal research.

The essence of this rule is actually still the same as the previous one. That is the foreign lawyer is allowed to run his profession in Indonesia and join or work in one of Indonesia advocate office.

The further provisions are foreign lawyer can practice in the law office in Indonesia with 4:1 ratio. That is four Indonesian lawyer for one foreign lawyer. In a law office restricted allowed only five foreign lawyer for maximum.

The exception regarding this ratio is if in a law office only consists three Indonesian lawyer then it is allowed to hire a foreign lawyer.
Advocate office can hire foreign lawyer as employer or experts in the field of foreign law, consists:

  1. the law of a foreign country; and / or
  2. international law in business and arbitration and the settlement of other out-of-court disputes.

In doing the profession, foreign lawyer have an obligations giving law service for free to the world of education and legal research or government agencies.  This foreign lawyer has an obligation giving law service for free minimum 100 hours in a year.

If the obligations of giving law service for free are not done, then the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights will not extend the approval of hiring foreign lawyer.

In order to monitor the implementation obligation of foreign lawyer, law office must done some written report that will be submitted to The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. The report is done periodically once in six months.

Procedures Hiring Foreign Advocate
Advocate office who wants to hire foreign advocate should first submitted a petition to The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. Then foreign advocate must obtain permission from The Labor Ministry.

In applying to the Minister of Law and Human Rights, the advocate office shall include the following documents:

  1. original recommendation from Advocate organizations in Indonesia;
  2. the original cooperation agreement between Advocate Office and Foreign Lawyer to be employed which has been legalized by the notary of Indonesia;
  3. the identity of data of a Foreign Lawyer filing an application consisting of: and
  4. program on the plan of providing legal services free of charge in writing.

Before the approval from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights comes, foreign advocate must giving explanations directly to Ministry of Justice and Human Rights about free legal service program to the education world and legal research. If failed, then the approval will not be made by the Minister.

The ministerial decree of hire foreign advocate is apply for about one year maximum and can be renew for about one year. The applications to renew can be done at least two months before it’s expired.

Foreign lawyer that has been working in an Indonesia advocate office can move to the other office. With conditions submitted also petition as it said in Permenkumham Number 26 of 2017. In the petition must also be included certificate of no objection from the old advocate office.
Foreign Lawyer who wants to work in Indonesia should submit the relevant documents to the Ministry to get permission. The documents are:

  1. original curriculum vitae;
  2. photocopies of diplomas certified by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in the State of Foreign Lawyer;
  3. original certificate as an active lawyer issued by an authorized institution and has been legalized by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in the State of Foreign Lawyer originating;
  4. original certificate as a member of professional legal organization that has been legalized by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in the State of Foreign Lawyer originated;
  5. the original certificate is not prevented and denied from the Directorate General of Immigration;
  6. photocopy of valid passport;
  7. recent color photograph with red background size 4 cm x 6 cm as four sheets’
  8. proof of non-tax state revenue payment ‘
  9. the principal number of an advocate’s office taxpayer who sponsors a foreign lawyer.

For foreign lawyer who already got the working approval is prohibited to get in a court and doing his work as a lawyer, practice and/or open law service office or the representative in the territory of the unitary Indonesia Republic.

BP Lawyers open for partnership and cooperation with foreign Law Firms.
Foreign lawyers are also welcome to join our firm.

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Author: TC-IHW/DA

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