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Opinion

14 Mar 2022

Author:
Ade Wahyudin, Legal Aid Center for the Press (LBH Pers)

Lawyers’ insights on corporate legal accountability: Ade Wahyudin, Legal Aid Center for the Press, Indonesia

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

1. What are the biggest challenges you face in your corporate legal accountability work?

The main challenge in this case is law enforcement officers or the government itself. Governments or even law enforcement agencies tend to be closer to companies. So, in public lawsuits against corporations, we usually also add the government as a party being sued. Although sometimes the government does not directly commit violations, but allowing violations is also partly a violation itself.

2. What key opportunities do you see for promoting corporate legal accountability (at the national, regional or international levels)?

For cases related to human rights, public campaigns are important. With public pressure, the government or law enforcement agencies can immediately respond and find solutions to conflicts that occur, be it between community and the company or between the community and the local government. Besides that, of course, to strengthen the basis of the defence, strategic litigation on this matter also needs to be carried out as a strong basis for encouraging the government to protect the community.

3. What key lesson(s) have you learned in your efforts to advance corporate legal accountability?

- The involvement of the government and law enforcement officials is sometimes at odds with the community. Public support becomes important to remind the state of its obligations to human rights.

- Documentation of evidence. It becomes important because usually, in some cases, the community has less written evidence than the company.