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Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in Indonesia: A Comprehensive Overview

News & Blog

In a world that is rapidly globalizing, the importance of enforcing foreign arbitral awards cannot be overstated. Indonesia is a key player in this context, with the Central Jakarta District Court acting as the authoritative body for the recognition and enforcement of International Arbitration Awards. Indonesia is a signatory to the 1958 United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, providing the legal basis for the relevant sections of Law No. 30 of 1999 on Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (“Arbitration Act”).

For practicality, this discussion does not cite specific article numbers from the Arbitration Act. None the less, it’s advisable to thoroughly review the Arbitration Act, including its official elucidation and any pertinent Supreme Court guidelines, before attempting to register and enforce International Arbitration Awards in Indonesia. The enforcement process consists of three main stages:

  1. Registration and Recognition of the Award: This initial step involves registering the arbitral award and obtaining its formal recognition
  2. Writ of Enforcement: After the award is registered and recognized, a Writ of Enforcement isissued . This writ serves as the legal foundation for all subsequent enforcement actions, usually carried out by the District Court with jurisdiction over the relevant assets
  3. Enforcement Actions: The final stage usually involves the sale of assets through public auction as a means of executing the award.

Key Terminology

  1. International Arbitration Award: The Arbitration Act uses the term International Arbitration Award. This term means an award granted either by an arbitration institution or an individual arbitrator located outside Indonesia, or an award that is classified as international awardunder Indonesian law. The designation of Indonesia as the place of arbitration does not automatically determine whether an arbitral award is considered foreign/international or domestic/national.
  2. Arbitration Institution: This refers to the organization chosen by the disputing parties to adjudicate their conflict and issue an award.
  3. Eksekuatur: This term signifies the legal recognition that the award is eligible for enforcement in Indonesia, granted by the Central Jakarta District Court, serving as the foundation for further enforcement of an International Arbitration Award in Indonesia as though it were a domestic arbitration award or civil court judgment. While the Arbitration Act outlines the registration process and the Writ of Enforcement, the Eksekuatur is intrinsically a part of the registration procedure.

Enforcement Procedure

  1. Registration: Initially, the award should be registered with the Clerk of the Central Jakarta District Court.
  2. Application for Eksekuatur: Following registration, an application must be submitted to make the award enforceable in Indonesia.
  3. Writ of Enforcement: After obtaining the Eksekuatur, a separate application must be filed in accordance with general procedural rules to commence the enforced sale of assets.

Upon receiving the Eksekuatur and Writ of Enforcement, the Chairperson of the District Court where the assets are located will take charge of further Enforcement Actions in that location, such as attachments of assets and enforced sales.

Criteria for Enforcement

An International Arbitration Award is enforceable in Indonesia if it meets the

  1. Reciprocity: The award must come from a country that has a treaty with Indonesia covering such enforcement
  2. . Commercial Law: The award must fall within the domain of Indonesian commercial law.
  3. . Public Order: The award must not violate Indonesian public order.

Documentation Requirements

The application to obtain an Eksekuatur must include the following:

  1. An authentic copy or the original of the Arbitration Award, along with its official Indonesian translation.
  2. An authentic copy or the original of the agreement that underpins the award, also accompanied by an official Indonesian translation.
  3. A statement from Indonesia’s diplomatic representative in the award’s originating country confirming the existence of a binding treaty between the two countries

Appeals and Legal Recourse

  1. No Appeal: No appeal or cassation to the Supreme Court, may be made against a decision of the Chairman of Central Jakarta District Court, which recognizes and enforces the International Arbitration Award.
  2. Cassation: In contrast, a cassation to the Supreme Court may be made against a decision of the Chairman of Central Jakarta District Court for refusing to recognize and enforce an International Arbitration Award (non-eksekuatur). The Supreme Court will review and decide on any cassation submitted to it, within a period of 90 (ninety) days after the application for cassation has been received by the Supreme Court.

Special Considerations

When enforcing an award against the State of Indonesia, an Eksekuatur from the Supreme Court is necessary, and no appeals are permitted against it.

Successful Enforcements of International Arbitration Awards

Internal statistics from the Central Jakarta District Court reveal that International Arbitration Awards have often been successfully enforced in Indonesia. In numerous instances, the parties settled amicably, making actual enforcement unnecessary. Such settlements often occur after the award’s registration, after the issuance of the Eksekuatur, or even following the Writ of Enforcement. It is common that the Indonesian party against whom the award or judgment has rendered, aims to reach an amicable settlement instead of directly complying with the awardor court judgment.

The process for the actual enforced sale of assets is dictated by general civil procedure laws, whichare also applicable to the enforcement of general court judgments. This enforcement process is cumbersome in practice and requires the presence of assets eligible for enforced sale.


A deep understanding of the legal and procedural nuances is essential for successfully navigating the complexities of enforcing International Arbitration Awards in Indonesia. Enforcement is achievable in practice when all conditions outlined in the Arbitration Act are satisfied and sufficient assets exist for the intended monetary recovery. However, it is important to consider realistic time and cost budgets, which may vary depending on the specifics of each case. Our firm offers comprehensive assistance, ranging from registration of arbitral awards to the actual enforced sale of assets, including attempting any voluntary compliance with the award through mutual and amicable settlement. In addition, we also represent our clients as claimant or respondent in any arbitration proceedings.