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Academics need to participate in socializing the RKUHP

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By: Devan Janu Adrian)*

Academics play a role in socializing to the public regarding the new Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) after its ratification into a Law (UU). Socialization by academics, especially lecturers, aims to make the public understand the contents of each article in the Law well.

The Dean of the Faculty of Law (FH) Diponegoro University (Undip) Semarang, Prof. Dr. Retno Saraswati when opening a public lecture at the Undip Faculty of Law entitled Renewal of the National Criminal Law on the Official YouTube channel of the Faculty of Law, Diponegoro University, reminded academics, especially criminal law lecturers, to play a role in socializing the Criminal Code to the public so that people can understand it well. Then, it was followed by students who majored in criminal law to help socialize among youth.

According to Retno, many new provisions were contained in the RKUHP in order to release colonial nuances, because the current Criminal Code used in law enforcement was made by the Dutch colonial government in 1800 and began to be implemented in the country in 1918. The new changes are like the principle of legality, namely: not only formal but also elaborated materially.

Therefore, Retno believes that the public needs to be aware of the various new provisions contained in the new Criminal Code. He hopes that the government’s efforts to present a new RKUHP in order to achieve substantial justice and bring about law enforcement in accordance with the spirit of the Indonesian nation based on the values ​​of Pancasila can be blessed by God so that it will be realized soon.

Previously, Retno appreciated the government’s steps, in this case the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham), which held outreach activities in various regions so that people in the country could understand the RKUHP, and even provide constructive input.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs (Menko Polhukam), Mahfud MD in the Public Dialogue and Socialization of the RKUHP conducted with Islamic Boarding Schools, Islamic Universities, and East Java religious organizations, in Surabaya conveyed the importance of the RKUHP being socialized among academics, Islamic universities , clergy, Islamic boarding schools, and the community in order to better understand and understand the contents of the RKUHP.

The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs said that the new Criminal Code is a “kalimatun sawa” or meeting point and common view of various debates over a period of 59 years. The contents of the new RKUHP have accommodated various interests, various sects, various understandings, various cultural situations and so on have been woven into one common vision that contains the character of the Indonesian nation.

In line with the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham) also conducted socialization of the RKUHP to the public, one of which was by carrying the headline ” Kumham Goes to Campus “. The Ministry of Law and Human Rights visited the University of North Sumatra (USU) Medan on October 13, 2022. The appointment of the USU Campus as a place for socialization aims to have a dialogue with students about the RKUHP as well as to socialize it to academics, especially lecturers at the USU Campus.

Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights (Wamenkumham), Eddy OS Hiariej explained that the Kumham Goes to Campus activity was in accordance with President Joko Widodo’s directives which mandated the Drafting Team of the Criminal Code Bill to have a dialogue with the public, especially academics and students.

Furthermore, Eddy explained three reasons why Indonesia should have a new Criminal Code. According to Eddy, the current Criminal Code used by the Police, Prosecutors, and Judges in court is the Criminal Code that was made in 1800. The Criminal Code that was made in 1800 cannot be separated from the situation and conditions of the Criminal Code that was made, which orientation of criminal law is classical, namely emphasizing individual interests, not talking about the interests of society and even the state. In addition, criminal law is used as a means of revenge. Meanwhile, there has been a change in the paradigm of universal criminal law.

Second, the current Criminal Code used is 220 years old and  out of date . Therefore, the government must formulate, build/update the Criminal Code with the current situation and conditions as well as the digital era.

And the third is related to the issue of legal certainty. Of the various versions of the translation of the Criminal Code circulating in the community, in bookstores, even those taught by lecturers in lectures, their validity or legality is still in doubt. 

According to Eddy KUHP, what is explained between one translator and another is very different where the difference is quite significant. This must participate in socializing to academics including students so that there are no misunderstandings in capturing every explanation that is poured by each translator in their book. This can also minimize the spread of false news about the RKUHP in the community.

In addition to socializing the  Kumham Goes to Campus , the Ministry of Law and Human Rights also provides public services within the Ministry of Law and Human Rights needed by students, such as   a copyright information service  booth , as well as apostille  information service  booths  and individual companies.

After being held at USU Medan,  Kumham Goes to Campus  is planned to be held in Makassar, South Sulawesi; Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara; Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, and Bali.

A criminal law academic from the University of Jember (Unej), I Gede Widhiana Suarda, said that the socialization of the RKUHP that had been carried out by the government showed good results. The public now understands the contents of the RKUHP, because of the massive socialization carried out by the government, especially on 14 crucial issues such as insulting the president and vice president. Suarda also emphasized that the regulation of articles on insults to the president and vice president is still needed.

Socialization by academics, especially lecturers, aims to make the public understand the contents of each article in the Law well. In addition, the government’s steps are to organize socialization activities in various regions so that people in the country can understand the RKUHP, and even provide constructive input.

)* The author is a contributor to Persada Institute

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