Indonesian Supreme Court Decision No. 79 of 2014: Dowry Restored to Wife and Lower Court Decision Overturned

The cassation applicant had been successful in Bantaeng Religious Court Decision No. 107 of 2012 in reclaiming land gifted to her as a dowry when she married her husband on 31 December 1945. That decision, however, was overturned in Makassar High Religious Court Decision No. 140 of 2012.

The cassation applicant challenged the Makassar High Religious Court Decision on the grounds that it had incorrectly applied the law. The Supreme Court concurred with the cassation applicant, stating that a dowry (mahar) is a gift from a prospective husband to his prospective wife, announced before a marriage guardian (wali nikah) and witnesses, recorded in the marriage certificate, and something that cannot be taken back. The Supreme Court also disagreed with the Makassar Court's finding that the location and boundaries of the land in question were unclear, based on the findings of a local inspection conducted and submitted to the court.

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