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The National Criminal Code Offers Alternative Sanctions to Overcome the Rigidity of the Legal System


By: Mayang Dwi Andaru )*

The National Criminal Code was able to overcome one of the problems regarding the rigidity of the legal system that had been contained in the old Dutch-made Criminal Code by including many alternative sanctions to take action against someone who violated the rules.

The existence of the National Criminal Code (KUHP) which has been ratified by the People’s Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Indonesia (DPR RI) as a substitute for the existing legal system that was previously in effect in the country, namely the old Criminal Code, a product of the Dutch colonial era, has indeed become a very important thing for this nation.

Regarding this matter, Academician of the University of Indonesia (UI), Dr. Surastini Fitriasih, S.H., M.H at the socialization of the new Criminal Code in Medan, North Sumatra, on Monday (9/1/2023) said that the National Criminal Code itself has many advantages when compared directly to the Dutch product Criminal Code. One of the advantages possessed by the legal system made by the nation’s children is regarding how efforts to impose sanctions on criminal acts.

How could it not be, the article attempts to impose sanctions on these crimes if the National Criminal Code has a wide variety of alternative sanctions. So it is not just punishment or imprisonment that can take away a person’s right to independence, but these sanctions can be replaced with other things such as payment of fines or supervision and social work.

As an example of a case, Surastini explained that there is an article related to homelessness in Indonesia. In the National Criminal Code it has been regulated that there is a prohibition against vagrancy on the grounds that doing so will disrupt public order.

In order to continue to maintain public order, the government has included an article on vagrancy in the National Criminal Code, which means that if someone is still homeless, then he has violated this existing rule.

Even though he has violated the rules, it does not mean that a homeless person is immediately imprisoned because it will deprive him of his right to independence. Precisely because the National Criminal Code allows for many alternative sanctions, so when faced with homeless people, there will be other sanctions, which can be in the form of fines, or social supervision to social work.

According to Surastini, the Indonesian nation really needs a legal system that is made and designed by the nation’s children because with that, there will definitely be a lot of compatibility between the National Criminal Code and the unique values that exist in the country.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Indonesian Criminal Law and Criminology Society (Mahupiki) of North Sumatra, Dr. Rizkan Zulyadi, as the organizer said that the national Criminal Code is a legal product of the nation’s children. We must be proud that this Criminal Code is a product of the nation’s children and one of the things that distinguishes the new Criminal Code is that it contains a balance between human rights and their obligations. This means that the aspect discussed is not only how we claim human rights, but also discusses its obligations.

Another guest speaker at the event at the Grand Mercure Maha Cipta Hotel Medan Angkasa, namely Criminal Law Expert at Gajah Mada University (UGM), Prof. Dr. Marcus Priyo Gunarto, S.H., M.Hum., considered that the reaction that emerged in the ratification of the new Criminal Code was something that was fairly normal and normal. According to him, during the three years of socialization before the new Criminal Code was implemented, the reaction would continue until it was implemented later. there was also a public reaction. In fact, he warned, the old Criminal Code still causes reactions to this day.

On this occasion, the UGM Criminal Law Expert explained that there were many advantages to the National Criminal Code when compared to the old Dutch-made Criminal Code. In addition, the national Criminal Code starts from the principle of balance.

On the same occasion, Prof. Dr. Pujiyono, S.H., M.Hum also said, one thing that must be understood first is that in the core law there are norms and values. Norms are formed because there is a basic idea of underlying values. Some of the aspects that form the basis of the national Criminal Code are that in the colonial heritage Criminal Code there has been no separation of individual and cluster aspects; not yet oriented towards people or modern schools; no chapter of guilt or criminal liability; the victim has not got a place or is oriented only to the perpetrator; fines or alternative sanctions are few or very light as they were in colonial times. According to him, with these various basic ideas then came up with ideas in a new Criminal Code with the basic values of Pancasila.

It is hoped that the implementation of the Criminal Code socialization will become a means of literacy and outreach related to the implementation of the Criminal Code to various elements of society. It is clear that in the old Criminal Code, products left over from the Dutch colonial era were still very rigid, because the process of handling criminal acts was only through imprisonment, which severely deprived a person of his right to freedom. Very different from the National Criminal Code which is able to overcome this rigidity by including many alternative sanctions in it.

)* The author is a contributor to the Main Sadawira Institute

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