Conventions: Definition, Characteristics, Types, Properties, and Examples

The convention is – Indonesia is a country that has laws in it, so every Indonesian must comply with applicable laws. The existing law in Indonesia has two forms, namely basic written law and unwritten basic law.

The 1945 Constitution is one part of the written basic law in Indonesia which is used to regulate the running of the state government properly and correctly. Meanwhile, unwritten laws are often referred to as conventions.

Conventions themselves are simply rules that can exist and be maintained in constitutional practice. However, it is also necessary to know that a convention cannot be justified when it conflicts with the 1945 Constitution. Usually a convention is a rule that can exist because it comes from a practice of administering state administration.

There are still many important things related to conventions such as definitions and examples. For those of you who want to understand more about conventions, then you can read all the explanations about conventions in this article.

Definition of Law

Before discussing conventions, it would be better if we also know in advance what law is. This is because the convention itself is included in the type of unwritten law.

Laws are laws made and enforced through social or government institutions that are used to regulate people’s behavior. Existing laws in a country can be made by a group legislature or by a single legislator who will later produce laws by the executive through decisions and regulations or determined by judges through the President.

One can enter into a legally binding contract including an arbitration agreement that adopts alternative ways of settling existing disputes by standard court litigation.

Law creation can be influenced by written or tacit constitutions and the rights encoded in them. The existence of law can also shape politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator in human relations.

The legal system that exists in each country always varies, so they cannot be equated. In civil law jurisdictions, the legislature or other central body will codify as well as consolidate the law. If viewed historically, religious law is able to influence secular matters and is still used in some religious communities.

For example, sharia law, which has basic Islamic principles, continues to be used as the primary legal system in several countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Definition of Convention

After understanding a brief explanation of the law. We will enter into the main topic of discussion, namely about conventions. The first thing we will learn together is about the meaning of convention.

In general, a convention is an unwritten basic law in which there are constitutional customs in a country. Basic unwritten laws such as conventions have the nature of complementing, perfecting and enlivening the rules of statutory law.

Even though the explanation contains the word custom, convention is actually different from custom. This is because basic unwritten laws such as conventions will not experience repetition. Conventions are also part of the constitution which cannot be enforced through the courts.

According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary or KBBI, a convention is an agreement or agreement, especially regarding customs, traditions and so on. Conventions can also be interpreted as basic rules that can arise and be maintained if carried out continuously and repeatedly.

In practice, conventions may not conflict with the 1945 Constitution and supplement or fill in the gaps arising from state administration practices.

Definition of Convention According to Experts

After knowing about the definition of convention in general. Next is still about the definition of convention, but according to experts. Below is the definition of convention according to experts which you can read in full.

1. Endra Yuda

According to Endra Yuda, a convention is a basic rule that can emerge and be maintained in the practice of administering the state, but the nature of this basic rule is unwritten.

2. Sukma Yudha

According to Sukma Yudha, a convention is a set of norms that are accepted by society and the government in general.

That is an explanation of the meaning of the convention according to experts. Meanwhile, according to the book Basics of Political Science by Miriam Budiarjo, it is explained that conventions are rules of state behavior that are not based on laws, but are based on constitutional habits.

Conventions are also included in the constitutional system and can be used as a guide when formal rules are unclear or inadequate. Thus, the existence of conventions can fill the void in codified law.

In addition, the convention can also be based on a judge’s decision. The existence of conventions allows the Constitution to be able to adapt to changes and developments of the times.

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Convention Features

Maybe you don’t really understand how it differs from conventions and other customs. At least there are several characteristics of the convention that can provide a fundamental difference with other regulations. The following are the characteristics possessed by the convention.

  1. The content and practice of the convention will run parallel to and not conflict with the 1945 Constitution.
  2. Conventions can exist because of habits that are carried out repeatedly in the administration of the state.
  3. Conventions can be used as a complement to the 1945 Constitution. This is because they can be applied in accordance with the times.
  4. Conventions are unwritten and cannot be tried. Because of this, the violations committed cannot be tried for these violations.
  5. Even though it has an unwritten nature, the people still accept the convention and see it as a rule in the administration of the state and must still be obeyed.

Types of Conventions

When viewed by type, conventions can be divided into two groups. Following are the types of conventions.

1. National Convention

National conventions are a type of unwritten rules that exist within a country. Where the parties involved are citizens and governments in the country.

2. International Conventions

International conventions are a type of unwritten rules which involve the citizens and governments of each country that co-signs a convention. The number of countries participating in signing an international convention may increase from time to time.

Nature of the Convention

Conventions will be more easily recognized if seen by their nature. In Indonesia itself, the convention has several characteristics in it. To make it easier for you to find out about conventions, here are some of the characteristics possessed by conventions in Indonesia.

1. Running Parallel to the 1945 Constitution

One of the characteristics of existing conventions in Indonesia is that they run in accordance with or parallel to the 1945 Constitution. That means that the content or practice of a convention in Indonesia may not conflict with the articles contained in the 1945 Constitution.

This is none other than because the 1945 Constitution is a source of all legal sources in the State of Indonesia. Therefore, other rules must be in accordance with the value of the basic law. Be it in the form of conventions, laws or presidential decrees or presidential decrees or something else.

2. Supplement to the 1945 Constitution

Judging from its history, the Basic Law during the course of the Indonesian government had experienced a change in the legal basis, namely the 1945 Constitution to become the 1950 Constitution. However, since the Presidential Decree of 5 July 1959, the 1950 RI UUDS changed to the 1945 Constitution.

Then, when the government bore fruit from the Old Order to the New Order, where during the New Order, a commitment was made to be able to implement the 1945 Constitution purely and accept all the consequences that came with it.

In order to maintain the purity of the 1945 Constitution, the contents of the articles cannot be changed and even if they have to be changed they have to go through a referendum. Preserving the 1945 Constitution can be done by having a convention.

This is done so that the basic rules can be applied in accordance with the current developments. That way, it can be concluded that if there is a convention it can be a complement to the 1945 Constitution.

3. Habits

According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary or KBBI, constitutional freedom is a basic law that can arise and be maintained in state administration practices and is obeyed by state administrators as a moral and ethical obligation.

This constitutional custom can also be referred to as a convention. Therefore, it can be concluded that one of the characteristics of the existing conventions in Indonesia is in the form of activities that are carried out repeatedly so that they can become a habit.

4. Unwritten And Cannot Be Tried

Convention is a habit, so the convention has an unwritten nature. However, the rules in the convention still uphold the applicable legal norms. In addition, it is because of this that if a convention is violated by the government, then the government cannot be prosecuted for the violation of the convention it has committed.

However, so far the implementation of the convention can continue to grow and be respected by the Indonesian people if the convention is still appropriate to be implemented.

5. Accepted by the People

As previously explained, conventions do have an unwritten nature. Even though it is not written, the convention remains a rule in which the rule will be accepted by the community.

If indeed from the beginning a convention could not be accepted, then such a convention could not become a habit in administering state administration. People can accept a convention if the convention respects existing ethical values ​​and norms. In addition, the existence of a convention can also foster a spirit of nationalism and patriotism in society.

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Example of a Convention

In Indonesia itself there are many examples of conventions that have been carried out to date. In fact, you’ve probably already done it. However, because there may be a lack of information about conventions, you may not know if you have applied a convention yourself.

So that Sinaumed’s also knows more about examples of conventions. Here is a full explanation of the convention example.

1. Flag Raising Ceremony

Who would have thought that the implementation of the flag-raising ceremony which is held every Monday and on the Republic of Indonesia’s Independence Day is a form of national convention. There are several explanations related to this, namely:

  • The implementation of the Indonesian flag-raising ceremony has been made a habit since ancient times, namely every Monday and every Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia. Previously, it has also been explained that the existence of a convention is due to a habit.
  • The implementation of the flag-raising ceremony was also in accordance with the 1945 Constitution. Where the red and white flag used to be raised was accompanied by the Indonesia Raya anthem.
  • The existence of a flag ceremony can also be considered as a complement to the 1945 Constitution. This is because it does not explain the procedures and rules in the process of carrying out a flag ceremony.
  • The order to carry out the flag ceremony is not written and no court will judge if you do not participate in carrying out the flag-raising ceremony.
  • The flag ceremony can be accepted by all Indonesian people and this is an example of the attitude of patriotism and nationalism in the Indonesian nation and respecting the heroes who have fought for Indonesian independence.

2. Selection of Ministers by the President and Vice President

In order to be able to assist the duties of the President and Vice President, after the inauguration process the two of them will select a number of people to be able to occupy the ministerial chair. It turns out that the ministerial selection process is also included in the example of a national convention. This is because there are certain reasons as explained below.

  • The election of ministers will be carried out by the President and Vice President as a form of custom.
  • The process of choosing ministers carried out by the President and Vice President does not conflict with the 1945 Constitution. Article 17 states that ministers can be appointed and dismissed by the President.
  • The convention on procedures for selecting ministers can be used as a complement to the 1945 Constitution. Because basically there is no article explaining these procedures.
  • The ministerial selection process conducted by the President and Vice President is acceptable to the public. This is because ministers are people who will help the President and Vice President work while they are in office. If ministers don’t share the same vision and mission with the President or Vice President, it will certainly have harmful effects.
  • There are no written rules on how a President should elect ministers. Therefore, if there really is a condition that compels the President to choose ministers on an arbitrary basis, then the President’s actions cannot be prosecuted.

3. Explanation of the RAPBN by the President

Explanation of the RAPBN or the State Revenue and Expenditure Budget Plan carried out by the President in front of the DPR or the People’s Representative Council can also be an example of the form of a convention.

This can happen because of several explanations below.

  • The elucidation of the RAPBN by the President in front of the DPR is a custom in which the reading of the RAPBN will be read at the beginning of each year or in January.
  • Explanation of the RAPBN made by the President in front of the DPR does not conflict with the 1945 Constitution. This is because there is no article which prohibits the explanation of the RAPBN made by the President.
  • Explanation of the RAPBN made by the President in front of the DPR can also be used as a complement to the 1945 Constitution. This is because Article 23 paragraph 1 of the 1945 Constitution has a sound that the President is only required to propose the RAPBN to the DPR every year.
  • There is no written rule if the President has to explain the RAPBN in front of the DPR. Therefore, if there are conditions that make the President not to take these actions, then the President cannot be tried. However, this can become a mental burden for the President because of his position as head of government and head of state.
  • Explanation of the RAPBN made by the President in front of the DPR can be accepted by all Indonesian people. This is because the President carried out financial transparency during his tenure. That way, the community can also actively participate in protecting the government so that they can minimize the causes of existing acts of abuse of authority.

That’s a summary of conventions, I hope the explanation explained above can be useful for Sinaumed’s. You can also get various kinds of books at and get information #MoreWithReading with sinaumedia.