The advocate/attorney – client privilege under Indonesian Law

Question also often asked by foreign lawyers is: advocate/attorney-client privilege under Indonesian Law.

Advocate/attorney-client privilege is primarily covered by Law Number 18 year 2003 regarding Advocate (“Advocate’s Law”). The Article 19 of Advocate’s Law clearly stipulates that:

  1. Advocates should keep in confidence all that are known or obtained from its clients because of the relationship of its profession, unless otherwise stipulated by law;

  2. Advocates are entitled to keep confidentiality of its relationship with the client, including the protection of files and documents to the seizure or inspection and protection against eavesdropping on Advocate’s electronic communications.

The provision is also meant that an advocate’s documents need not be disclosed in an evidentiary proceeding, despite the confidential documents are in the possession of the advocate, the client, or a third party. The spirit of the provision is also applied to the criminal/penal code. In considering the advocate/attorney - client privilege, therefore, I always stamping any documents received from my clients with "STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL, ADVOCATE - CLIENT PRIVILEGE DOCUMENTS".

Kukuh K. Hadiwidjojo