Indonesia Notarial Records

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Notarial Records

Indonesia does not have, for the most part, a litigious culture. The country's underlying philosophy, Pancasila, calls for deliberation to reach a consensus and discourages contention in all things, where possible. With a mix of diverse cultures, most of her people are invariably courteous and eschew confrontation of any kind. Commercial litigation is relatively rare, particularly when compared with such jurisdictions as Singapore, India, and the United States, for example.

But aside from the cultural rationale, the uncertainty and unpredictability of court judgments and the inordinate amount of time it can take to reach a final and binding decision through the judicial system also act as a disincentive to litigation. As business transactions become more and more sophisticated and complex, an increase in contractual documentation calling for arbitration can be seen, although most of these require an attempt at amicable resolution as a prerequisite. A recent Supreme Court regulation now requires an attempt at mediation before a case may be heard in the courts, and arbitrators are required to try to encourage amicable settlement before commencing hearings.

Indonesia being a civil law jurisdiction, the rules of evidence and discovery procedures are far less developed than those of common law jurisdictions. The Arbitration Law provides only that the parties are afforded an opportunity to explain their respective positions in writing and to submit evidence deemed necessary to support such positions. The Arbitration Law refers to the old Dutch-based code of civil procedure for examination of witnesses and other evidentiary matters. Evidence is defined as comprising of written evidence, testimony of witnesses, inference, acknowledgments and oath.

Authentic written evidence is distinguished from non-notarial written evidence. Authentic written evidence is evidence made before a notary public and should be considered as perfect, or undeniable, evidence in respect of matters contained therein.

The Arbitration Law allows witnesses of fact or expert witnesses to be called, either at the request of a party or as ordered by the tribunal. Witnesses are to testify under oath. Note that it is recognized in all aspects of the law in Indonesia that the testimony of a single witness shall be not be trusted, unless accompanied by that of another witness or by other supporting evidence. Family, relatives, those having relation with a disputant through marriage and divorced husbands or wives are generally not qualified or permitted to act as witnesses, except in certain exceptional cases. Nor are employees, principals or other personnel of a disputant company considered as witnesses, but are identified as being a part of the party itself.

Notarial records and indexes (Akte notaris dan indises)

Research use: Excellent linkage source. Some records are indexed. Records show vital information for individuals, families and relatives.

Record type: Records of notary publics regarding wills, contracts, marriages, inheritance, sale and transfer of property, annuities, mortgages, inventories, orphans records.

Time Period: 1650-present.

Contents: Wills, codicils, probates: Testator’s names, heirs, witnesses, residences, dates, property descriptions, distributions, signatures. Marriage dowries, contracts: names, relatives, witnesses, dates, conditions, properties, signatures. Divisions of estates and deeds: heirs, sellers, buyers, witnesses, officials, residences, property descriptions, guardianship assignments for orphans, apprenticeships. Orphans records: Will abstracts, authorizations, prospective guardians, acceptances, appointments, orphans’ names, parents, relatives, guardians, ages, residences.

Location: National, municipal archives.

Population coverage: 20%.

Reliability: Very good.

Accessibility: By personal visit or by hiring a researcher.[1]

Family History Library Collection

To find notarial records available in the Family History Library, look in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:


External Links


  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Indonesia,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1989-1999.