The extradition law draft was recently approved in Indonesia. As a result, the nation has suggested that the ET and DCA agreements be ratified.
The Leaders’ Retreat between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Joko Widodo of Indonesia took place on January 25, 2022, in Bintan, Indonesia. A series of agreements on three long-standing bilateral issues were signed under an Expanded Framework in front of the Leaders by the respective Ministers. The first of these agreements is an Agreement on the Realignment of the Boundary between the Jakarta and Singapore Flight Information Region (or FIR); the second is a Treaty for the Extradition of Fugitives (or ET); and the third is a Joint Statement by the Defence Ministers on the 2007 Defence Cooperation Agreement (or DCA). Following the passage of the draft extradition law by the Indonesian government, the country has proposed ratifying the ET and DCA agreements.
The Spokesperson for Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded that Singapore welcomed Indonesia’s ratification of the ET and DCA.
“Singapore welcomes Indonesia’s ratification of the ET and DCA. Indonesia had earlier ratified the Agreement on the Realignment of the Boundary between the Jakarta Flight Information Region (FIR) and the Singapore FIR (FIR Agreement). Indonesia’s ratification of all three agreements under the Expanded Framework between Singapore and Indonesia is a clear sign of the strength and maturity of our bilateral relationship, and our commitment to work together as close neighbours. Singapore has also completed its domestic legal processes for the three agreements.
We look forward to exchanging with Indonesia our formal notifications of the completion of our respective domestic processes for all three agreements. Singapore and Indonesia will then jointly seek approval from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the arrangements under the FIR Agreement to enable the simultaneous entry into force of all three agreements on a mutually agreed date.
Jakarta and Singapore Flight Information (FIR) Agreement
Under ICAO, FIR arrangements are established to manage civil aircraft in order to ensure the safety and efficiency of air traffic and to advance international civil aviation. Indonesia had expressed a desire to realign the FIR boundaries in accordance with its expanded territorial waters, which now include archipelago waters, which were added to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982. Singapore was interested in the current and future needs of Changi Airport, and Indonesia agreed.
These critical considerations were addressed in the FIR Agreement. Singapore and Indonesia reached an agreement to realign the boundary between the Singapore and Jakarta FIRs, largely based on Indonesia’s archipelagic and territorial baselines, which were deposited with the UN in 2009.
In order to maintain safe and effective management of current and future traffic to Changi Airport and nearby Indonesian airports, Indonesia will also delegate to Singapore the provision of air navigation services in portions of the airspace within the realigned Jakarta FIR.
The delegation agreement will last for 25 years and may be renewed if both countries deem it to be in their best interests.
Singapore and Indonesia will work together to request ICAO approval for these new FIR arrangements once all agreements under the Expanded Framework have been approved through their respective domestic procedures. FIR agreements will benefit users of the region’s airspace as well as the aviation industries of both nations.
Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA)
Singapore and Indonesia’s defense establishments have had a long history of friendship. As common security challenges become more complex, they need to work together closely all the more. The DCA will strengthen cooperation between their armed forces and advance their bilateral defence relations. It will make it easier for the two defense establishments to discuss and monitor new areas of defense cooperation.
Since the 1960s, when the area was international waters, the SAF has conducted training in the designated South China Sea Danger Area (or SCSDA for short). As a result, under UNCLOS, parts of the SCSDA became Indonesian archipelagic and territorial waters, as well as airspace. However, as a right under UNCLOS Article 51, the SAF’s training activities in such areas continue.
It provides clarity on the arrangements for the SAF’s training in Indonesian archipelagic and territorial waters, as well as airspace, while fully respecting Indonesia’s sovereignty over its territory and Singapore’s rights.
Extradition Treaty (ET)
Singapore and Indonesia will grant extradition for a long list of extraditable offenses covered by the agreement, in accordance with the laws of both nations and subject to the necessary safeguards and clauses in the agreement.
The ET is structurally similar to the treaty signed by Singapore and Indonesia in 2007. The only difference is that it applies retroactively to extradite fugitives for crimes committed 18 years ago, as opposed to 15 years in the 2007 agreement, beginning from the date the ET enters into force. This modification was made at the request of Indonesia. We believe that the extension will give both countries more flexibility in the scope of their cooperation.
The ET has clear advantages for both nations. It will improve law enforcement agencies’ coordination in the two nations’ efforts to fight crime. Aside from helping Indonesian efforts to apprehend suspected criminals there, it is hoped that ET will also aid Indonesia in its efforts to stop criminal suspects from fleeing the country.
Singapore already collaborates closely with Indonesia to address these criminal issues, even without an ET. The ASEAN Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (ASEAN MLAT) and other multilateral treaties are the current means by which Singapore and Indonesia cooperate. The ET will supplement those methods. It also strengthens Singapore’s extradition agreements with numerous jurisdictions around the world.
More fundamentally, the ET reflects both countries’ commitment to collaborate with international partners in combating crime and promoting the rule of law. ET strengthens Singapore’s role as a responsible and effective member of the international community, benefiting Singapore-Indonesia’s already strong standing and reputation as a global financial hub.