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Appreciate the Ratification of the Indonesian National Criminal Code

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By: Siska Wulandari )*

The Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) has been passed into law (UU) by the DPR RI at the 11th Plenary Meeting of the DPR RI Session Period II for Session Year 2022-2023 in the context of Level II Deliberations/Decision Making on the Draft Criminal Code Bill, on Tuesday, December 6, 2022. 

The Minister of Law and Human Rights (Menkumham), Yasonna H. Laoly said this ratification was a historic moment in Indonesia because now Indonesia has its own Criminal Code Law which was the result of the minds of the nation’s children after years of using the Dutch Colonial Criminal Code. 

Yasonna also stated that the Dutch Colonial Criminal Code was felt to be very irrelevant to current conditions, developments in the situation, and the need for criminal law in Indonesia. This is one of the urgencies to ratify the Criminal Code Bill. The law on products for the nation’s children is considered to be very reformative, progressive, and responsive to current developments in the situation and conditions in Indonesia.

The recently passed Criminal Code Law has gone through transparent, thorough and participatory discussions, in which the Government and DPR RI have accommodated various inputs, ideas and ideas from the wider community. The revised Criminal Code Law according to the needs of society has also been disseminated to all stakeholders in Indonesia. 

Yasonna also thanked the entire community for their participation and support in this historic moment, even though the process of drafting the Criminal Code Law did not go smoothly for a long time. His party assured the public that the Criminal Code Law had gone through repeated and comprehensive academic studies.

Yasonna also explained that the Government and DPR RI had faced rejection from the public regarding articles that were considered controversial. Among them are articles on insulting the President and Vice President, articles on the crime of cohabitation, articles on black magic, articles on vandalism, and the spread of communism. 

Deputy V Chief of Presidential Staff (KSP), Jaleswari Pramodhawardani said the Criminal Code Law that was passed perfected the Indonesian criminal law regulatory system which was achieved through consolidating criminal provisions in various sectoral laws and preventing criminal disparities between one provision and another. He said the Team of Experts and the Government had conducted training for law enforcement officials to provide an understanding of the meaning, essence and philosophy of the Criminal Code Law.

The Criminal Code Law that has been ratified certainly raises pros and cons where not 100 percent of the public will agree with the ratification of the Criminal Code Law. However, he appealed to parties who disagree with some of the substances in the new Criminal Code Law, to convey them through the mechanism of filing a lawsuit to the Constitutional Court (MK), which of course is accompanied by reasonable reasons.

Meanwhile, Chairman of Commission III, Bambang Wuryanto added that the holistic improvement of the Criminal Code Law had accommodated input and suggestions from all elements of society so that excessive criminalization and arbitrary actions by law enforcers would not occur by improving the formulation of article norms and their explanations. 

He added, Commission III of the DPR RI will continue to oversee and evaluate the preparation and implementation of the new Criminal Code Law which will experience a transitional period of 3 (three) years since it was promulgated and will become effective in 2025, especially implementing regulations and all supporting instruments or infrastructure so that they comply. with the aim of achieving legal certainty, justice, and benefits.

Member of Commission III DPR RI, Supriansa stated that the Criminal Code Law which had been passed should be grateful for by all people considering that the Criminal Code Law was a product made by the nation’s children and replaced the Dutch Colonial Criminal Code Law. This indicates that the progress of the Criminal Code Law made from period to period is something very good and deserves to be appreciated.

Member of the DPD RI for the Central Kalimantan electoral district, Agustin Teras Narang, also expressed his appreciation, gratitude and respect to the Government, the DPR RI, legal experts, researchers in the field of criminal law, and all elements of the Indonesian people who have prayed for, escorted, criticized, and encourage the creation of this Criminal Code Law. 

Agustin also hopes that the presence of the new Criminal Code Law and the product of the nation’s own thinking will help build a better and just society. The Criminal Code Act is an entry point in efforts to reform legal practice in Indonesia, which has so far been a big challenge.

Criminal law expert, I Gede Widhiana Suarda said that the reason for the need for a new Criminal Code Law is that if a nation is already independent, then politically it must also be independent in law. As an independent nation, legal products are needed that were born from the womb of the Indonesian nation itself.

Society needs to support this legal product as a form of sovereignty of an independent nation. The Criminal Code Law is seen as a symbol of the civilization of a nation that upholds the principles of nationalism and appreciates community participation. Therefore, all elements of society are expected to respect each of the articles in the Criminal Code Law.

)* The author is a Criminal Law Specialist from Pertiwi Institute

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