Pompe's massive tome on the Indonesian Supreme Court during the New Order is perhaps one of the best histories of any judicial institution in Asia that I have seen. The book is based on years of fieldwork and interviews the author conducted during the 1990s. He was able to talk to some of the key players. His hard work shows, as this book brings the politics of the Indonesian Supreme Court to life. He describes the motivations of judges during key moments, such as the debate over judicial review in the late 1960s and the surprising decision in the Kedung Ombo case. He also effectively chronicles the decline of the court and how Suharto appointed sycophants in order to keep the court from challenging him.
This book is great for anybody interested in Indonesia during the New Order. It is absolutely necessary background for those working on legal reform in Indonesia. The current problems with corruption in the judiciary have their roots in the events described in this book.