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New Criminal Code, one of the Solutions for Better Community Protection


By: Alexander Joshua Galen)*

The Criminal Code was passed in December 2022 to reform Indonesia’s criminal code. The existence of these rules is expected to be a better solution to protect the community from crime.

Indonesia is a constitutional state and various legal products are created to protect and maintain public order, such as the Criminal Code. The law that has been passed is fully supported by the people of Indonesia. There are many additional articles that prevent them from becoming victims of criminal crimes. These articles are deliberately made to follow the dynamics of society in the era of information technology.

Among the articles in the Criminal Code, the one that is most well known by the public is the article on adultery. The Criminal Code stipulates that the perpetrator of adultery will receive a sentence of one year in prison. Meanwhile, perpetrators of cohabitation, alias living together without legal marriage ties, will be sentenced to 6 months in prison.

This punishment was deemed appropriate because the suspect committed immorality, by forcibly taking the victim’s girl, or by committing other moral crimes. Meanwhile, the perpetrators of cohabitation were also punished because they violated the norms of decency, religious law, and state law.

Deputy Chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia, Abdul Haris Semendawai, assessed that the birth of the Criminal Code Law which was just passed some time ago was a success in efforts to renew the old Criminal Code, which is more than 200 years old, so it needs to be appreciated. Moreover, the purpose of changing the Criminal Code this time is in order to respect and uphold human rights. In addition, the Criminal Code is also a solution for better public protection.

The birth of this new Criminal Code, he added, was also in an effort to adjust to the current conditions, such as there were a number of criminal acts regulated in the new Criminal Code after the state ratified several conventions in the world which were not accommodated in the old Criminal Code.

Abdul Haris added that the new Criminal Code has also accommodated crimes related to anti-discrimination. Regarding criminal sanctions, the Criminal Code does not only regulate imprisonment and fines, but also accommodates social sanctions that can reduce overcrowding in correctional institutions. 

In fact, the death penalty in the new Criminal Code is only a specific sanction, unlike in the old Criminal Code, the death penalty is the principal sanction. This will protect the public from mistakes when there are people who look alike and it turns out they are not the original suspects, thus saving their lives.

The Criminal Code will protect society, especially women, because the adultery article will prevent women from becoming victims of unpleasant and immoral acts. Al-Azhar University Criminal Law Expert, Supardi Ahmad, stated that the adultery article in the Criminal Code is an attempt to protect women. This article will protect the dignity of women. Moreover, most of the victims (immoral acts) are women.

In a sense, the article on adultery will protect women from rape. The perpetrator will be sentenced to 1 year in prison and then cancel his evil plan to rape, because he doesn’t want to go to jail for that long. The adultery article in the Criminal Code also proves that the government is very pro-women.

The Criminal Code also prevents invitations to get together. The perpetrator will be sentenced to a minimum of 6 months in prison, and the person who planned it will be canceled for fear of going to the penitentiary.

Women are protected because they are prohibited from living with men without a marriage certificate. Indonesia still adheres to strong eastern customs, which do not allow two people to have intercourse in bed without a valid marriage bond. Women who are aware and educated, will not lower their self-esteem by inviting them to live together before a legal consent is granted.

Meanwhile, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Diponegoro University, Semarang, Prof. Retno Saraswati, stated that the existence of the Criminal Code is an extraordinary development of Indonesian criminal law to achieve substantial or real justice. The Criminal Code will protect society and uphold justice in Indonesia.

Substantial justice is justice related to the contents of the judge’s decision in examining, hearing, and sending a case that must be made based on considerations of rationality, honesty, objectivity, and the judge’s conscience. If there is substantial justice, it is certain that the law is upheld and the public will be protected from various criminal crimes.

The Criminal Code will achieve substantial justice because it regulates almost all fields in society. For example, customary law ( living law),  anti-hoax articles, anti-adultery and LGBT articles. Then there is the article prohibiting insulting the head of state and his deputy, the article regulating the order of demonstrations, etc. With these articles, criminal law in Indonesia will be upheld and protect society from crime.

The Criminal Code will protect the public from various types of crimes because it has various articles. With the existence of a national Criminal Code, the Indonesian people will be safer because the new regulation has accommodated various legal needs of modern society.

)* The author is a Contributor to Suara Khatulistiwa

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