The spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia has undeniably affected various aspects, not only the social and economic aspect but the justice system has also been affected. As we know, each district court’s hearings for both civil and criminal cases take place every day. With physical distancing instruction and Large-Scale Social Restrictions to suppress the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia, the hearing schedule must inevitably change. As if it can predict things that will hinder the judicial process, such as this COVID-19 pandemic, back in 2018, the Supreme Court introduced the e-Court system.
In Indonesia, public is still unfamiliar with the e-Court system, while the system has existed since 2018. E-Court is the implementation of the Electronic-Based Government System, which is regulated in Presidential Regulation Number 95 of 2018 concerning Electronic-Based Government System (“Perpres 95/2018”). E-Court itself is regulated in the Supreme Court Regulation No. 3/2018 (“Perma 3/2018”) regarding the Administration of Court Cases by Electronic Means, which was signed by the Head of the Supreme Court, M Hatta Ali, on 29 March 2018 and come into force on 4 April 2018. This Perma contains 26 articles that regulate, among others, e-Court users, submission of lawsuits, summons, publication of court decision, and all the administration that done through the online process. E-Court application itself was first launched on 13 July 2018.
As for now, Perma 3/2018 has been revoked and replaced with the Supreme Court Regulation No. 1 of 2019 concerning the Administration of Court Cases and Hearings by Electronic Means (“Perma 1/2019”). Perma 1/2019 is an update from Perma 3/2018 by including a new category, namely electronic litigation, and an explanation of the phrase “Other User” who can use this e-Court service.
From the official website of e-Court (https://ecourt.mahkamahagung.go.id/), the meaning of e-Court is a service for the registered user to file a lawsuit via online, get estimated court fee via online, make an online payment, summons electronically, and conduct an online litigation process. There are four primary services in e-Court, namely:
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has issued Circular Letter Number 1 of 2020 concerning Guidelines for Carrying Out Duties during the Prevention of COVID-19 Spread Period at the Supreme Court and Subordinate Courts (“SEMA 1/2020”). In Point 1 letter a SEMA 1/2020, it is stated that Judges and Court Apparatus can conduct their official duties by working from home. What it means by working from home in SEMA 1/2020 is also includes court administration using the e-Court application, litigation process using the e-Litigation application, coordinating meetings, and other official duties (Point 1 letter b SEMA 1/2020). The working from home period has been extended until 13 May 2020 in accordance with Point 1 of the Supreme Court Circular Letter Number 3 of 2020 concerning the Second Amendment to the Supreme Court Circular Letter Number 1 of 2020 concerning Guidelines for Carrying Out Duties during the Prevention of COVID-19 Spread Period at the Supreme Court and Subordinate Courts (“SEMA 3/2020”).
In Point 2 letter a SEMA 1/2020, it is stated that criminal case hearing, military case hearing, and jinayat case hearing are still convened specifically for the accused who are being detained, and their term of detention cannot be extended further during the period of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, for the accused whose detention period is still legally reasonable to be extended, the hearing was postponed until the end of the period for preventing the spread of COVID-19 (Point 2 letter b SEMA 1/2020). For certain cases with a limited examination period under the law, the judge may postpone the examination even though it has exceeded the examination period (Point 2 letter c SEMA 1/2020). Furthermore, in Point 2 letter e SEMA 1/2020, for civil cases, religious cases, and state administrative cases, it is recommended to use the e-Litigation application.
Furthermore, the SEMA does not regulate electronic litigation procedures. Such litigation procedures can be found in Perma 1/2019. The following is the electronic litigation procedure based on Perma 1/2019.
The District Courts in Indonesia have implemented online hearing, for example (1) Witness cross-examination via teleconference at the Cirebon Religious Court, (2) Traffic ticket cases at DKI Jakarta’s courts, namely in: Central Jakarta District Court, West Jakarta District Court, East Jakarta District Court, South Jakarta District Court, and North Jakarta District Court, and (3) Witness cross-examination in the stabbing case of former Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, at the West Jakarta District Court .
Hope this is useful.
FREDRIK J PINAKUNARY LAW OFFICES
 Pemeriksaan Saksi Melalui Teleconference, Era Baru Persidangan di Pengadilan Agama Cirebon, https://badilag.mahkamahagung.go.id/seputar-peradilan-agama/berita-daerah/pemeriksaan-saksi-melalui-teleconference-era-baru-persidangan-di-pengadilan-agama-cirebon-22-4
 Sidang Tilang Digelar Tanpa Dihadiri Pelanggar, https://otomotif.kompas.com/read/2020/04/01/170625315/sidang-tilang-digelar-tanpa-dihadiri-pelanggar
 Digelar Secara Online, Sidang Kasus Penusukan Wiranto Memasuki Agenda Pemeriksaan Saksi, https://megapolitan.kompas.com/read/2020/04/23/11104611/digelar-secara-online-sidang-kasus-penusukan-wiranto-memasuki-agenda