Cooperation Between the Attorney General of Indonesia and the Attorney General of Singapore.

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With a view to enhance bilateral cooperation, Singapore and Indonesia recently signed an MOU on cooperation between the Attorney Generals of the Republic of Singapore and the Republic of Indonesia. The MOU was signed in Bali on August 29, 2017 by Lucien Wong, Attorney General of Singapore and H.M Prasetyo, Attorney General of Indonesia.

The MOU provides a framework for a broad range of cooperative activities including training, the exchange of experiences and information on applicable laws, procedures and policies as well as the provision of information on certain aspects of criminal cases. Its main objective is to exchange information on legal matters, and promote regular contacts between the officials of the two agencies.

The MOU is not intended to cooperate on concrete legal enforcement or to extradite the nationals of the two countries to face charges or trial in their respective countries. Nevertheless, it is considered to be an important step to build mutual understanding and trust for the two Attorney Generals, which may facilitate a concrete cooperation on legal enforcement in future.

Being closer to each other geographically, and engage in various of cooperation extensively, it is high time for Singapore and Indonesia to cooperate concretely in legal enforcement, in particular on criminal matters involving the nationals of the two countries. Therefore, Indonesia and Singapore had previously signed an Extradition Treaty in April 2007 in Bali along with Defense Cooperation Agreement. For practical purposes, Singapore and Indonesia agreed to negotiate the Extradition Treaty and the Agreement on Defense Cooperation in parallel and signed them as one package.

As expected, the Parliament of Singapore ratified the Defense Cooperation Agreement immediately. There was a high hope in Singapore that the Parliament of Indonesia would ratify the agreement too. But Indonesian parliament did not ratify the Defense Cooperation Agreement yet due to its objection on certain parts of the agreement. As a result, the Singaporean Parliament did not pursue the ratification of the Extradition Treaty. So the long awaited treaty is still not in force yet.

Therefore, the signing of the MOU on exchange of information on legal cases between the Attorney Generals of Singapore and Indonesia is an important step to build understanding and mutual trust. It may revive the commitment of Singapore and Indonesia to ratify the extradition treaty some day in the future.