For more than four decades, the attorney general's office could unilaterally prohibit publication or distribution of books deemed "offensive" or a "threat to public order." But the Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday, October 13th, such power should rest with a judicial court. In striking down the law, Judge Mohammad Mahfud told the court: "Any banning of books must be done through the legal process in a court."
"It's great," said historian Hilmar Farid. "It symbolizes the end of a period of darkness for all of us. It will allow future generations to learn the truth about everything, from science to history."
A group of authors and publishers whose books were banned last year asked the Constitutional Court to review the 1963 regulation that allowed it. Their books - and others - touched on sensitive topics like separatist-torn Papua province, inter-religious conflicts, the role of the military and even scientific research.
-my thoughts on this is that it's sad that they can still ban books through the legal process of the courts. but at least now there is a legal process and it's not just the attorney generals office that gets to decide. it's a step in the right direction. in my opinion there should be no book banning, but hey small steps.