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Mahkamah Syar’iyah in Aceh

An immense necessitate of people in Aceh Province to drive Sharia Law was one of the Indonesian Parliament’s reasons to accede and issue Law No. 18/2001 on Specific Autonomy for Aceh Province to be Province of Nangroe Aceh Darussalam on 9 August 2001. The Law was so closely related to Law No. 44/1999 on the Implementation of Aceh privilege as the way of implementing sharia-based life in Aceh. Article 25 point (1) of Law No. 18/2001 put on Aceh people the right to develope Mahkamah Syariah as a part of National judicature system. 

On March 03, 2003, The President of The Republic of Indonesia issued Decree No. 11/2003 regarding Mahkamah Syar’iyah and High Mahkamah Syar’iyah. The authorities of both are the same as those of Religious Court and High Religious Court with additional religion-based crime cases.

The authority of Mahkamah Syar’iyah and High Mahkamah Syar’iyah is strongly asserted by the issuance of Law No. 4/2004 on Judicial Power which stipulates that Mahkamah Syariah and High Mahkamah Syar’iyah are special judicature within religious judicature and general judicature depending on the cases they handled. The name of High Mahkamah Syar’iyah was then substituted by Mahkamah Syar’iyah Aceh since the iissuance of Law no. 11/2008 on changes to Law No. 4/2004.

Sharia Economy

Law No. 3/2006 on changes to Law No. 7/1989 regarding Religious Judicature has expanded the absolute jurisdiction of Religious Courts by legalizing adoption based on Islamic law, ownership dispute on inheritance case, and disputes of sharia economy. The phrase “specific civil cases” on article 49 of this Law is changed into “specific cases” to cover the authority of Mahkamah Syar’iyah and High Mahkamah Syar’iyah.

With the authority to adjudge religion-based crime cases and disputes of sharia economy, Religious Court comes into a beginning of new order in which the scope of religious Court jurisdiction is no more limited to the Islamic family law, but also covering Islamic property disputes as below:

  1. Shari’a bank

  2. Micro shari’a finance institution

  3. Shari’a insurance

  4. Shari’a reinsurance

  5. Shari’a mutual fund/reksadana

  6. Shari’a obligation and mediate phase shari’a marketable securities

  7. Shari’a securities

  8. Shari’a financing

  9. Shari’a pawnshop

  10. Shari’a finance institution for pension fund

  11. Shari’a business

This is a brief historical illustration on the dynamics of Religious Court, beginning from the colonial era until now. However, the existence as well as the roles of Religious Court could be improved time to time in order to give better services for justice seekers throughout Indonesia. Besides, we should learn from historical background to avoid something unnecessary to do as well as to shape a better future.


Office Address

Supreme Court Secretariat Building  (Lt. 6-8)

Jl. Jend. Ahmad Yani Kav. 58 ByPass Jakarta Pusat

Telp: 021-29079177 
Fax: 021-29079277

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