1st Indonesian Minister of Law and Human Rights
In office
19 August 1945 – 14 November 1945
Preceded byPost created
Succeeded bySoewandi
In office
20 December 1949 – 6 September 1950
Preceded bySusanto Tirtoprodjo
Succeeded byAbdoel Gaffar Pringgodigdo
Personal details
Born(1903-01-22)22 January 1903
Sukoharjo, Central Java, Dutch East Indies
Died12 September 1958(1958-09-12) (aged 55)
Jakarta, Indonesia

Soepomo (22 January 1903 – 12 September 1958) was Indonesia's first Minister of Justice, serving in the Presidential Cabinet from 19 August to 14 November 1945 and from 20 December 1949 to 6 September 1950.


Soepomo was born in Sukoharjo, Central Java, Dutch East Indies on 22 January 1903.[1] He came from a noble family; his maternal and paternal grandfathers were high-ranking government officials.[1]

Soepomo began his schooling at the Europeesche Lagere School in Boyolali in 1917, later studying at a Meer Uitgebreid Lagere Onderwijs in Surakarta beginning in 1920.[1] In 1923 he moved to Batavia, where he studied at the Bataviasche Rechtsschool.[1] After graduating, he initially took a job at a court in Surakarta,[2] later going to Leiden, Netherlands to spend three years studying at Leiden University under Cornelis van Vollenhoven. He graduated in 1927, with his thesis, entitled "Reorganisatie van het Agrarisch Stelsel in het Gewest Soerakarta" ("Agrarian System Reform in the Surakarta Area"), containing both a description of the agrarian system in Surakarta and veiled critiques of Dutch colonialism.[1]

After his return from the Netherlands, Soepomo became a court employee in Yogyakarta, later being transferred to the Justice Department in Jakarta.[3] While serving at the Justice Department, he took a side job as a guest lecturer at the Institute of Law there.[3] He joined the youth group Jong Java, and wrote a paper entitled "Perempuan Indonesia dalam Hukum" ("Indonesian Women and Law"), which he presented with Ali Sastroamidjojo at the 1928 Women's Congress.[2]

As the Japanese occupation of Indonesia was drawing to a close, Soepomo became a member of the Investigating Committee for Preparatory Work for Independence (BPUPK) and the Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence (PPKI), working to frame the constitution together with Muhammad Yamin and Sukarno.[2][3] After independence, Soepomo served twice as Minister of Justice, from 19 August to 14 November 1945 and from 20 December 1949 to 6 September 1950.[1]

Dr. Supomo visit to the Netherlands in 1951
Dr. Supomo visit to the Netherlands in 1951

After his terms as Minister of Justice, Soepomo became a lecturer at Gadjah Mada University,[3] as well as the Jakarta Police Academy.[2] He was also President of the University of Indonesia.[2] From 1954 to 1956, Soepomo was Indonesia's ambassador to the United Kingdom.[2][4]

Soepomo died in Surakarta on 12 September 1958.[1]


On 14 May 1965, Soepomo was posthumously declared a national hero of Indonesia by President Sukarno.[2]


  • Bahari, Adib (2011). Pendekar Hukum Indonesia [Indonesian Legal Giants] (in Indonesian). Yogyakarta: Pustaka Yustisis. ISBN 978-979-3411-04-0.
  • "Indonesian Ambassadors". Indonesian Embassy in the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 30 November 2011.
  • "Salah Satu Perumus UUD 1945" [One of the Writers of the 1945 Constitution]. Archived from the original on 30 November 2011.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Ambassador of Indonesia to the United Kingdom
Succeeded by