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The New Criminal Code Becomes a Bridge for Diversity of Viewpoints in Indonesia


By: Safira Tri Ningsih )*

The presence of the newest national Criminal Code is considered very capable of being a bridge and at the same time being a middle way for the diversity of viewpoints shared by all Indonesian people because this country consists of very diverse people with many backgrounds.

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Many parties have long considered that reforming the existing criminal law system in Indonesia, as well as how the presence of the national Criminal Code which was recently ratified by the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia (DPR RI) together with the Government, is a matter which is very urgent so that it can immediately replace the position of the old Criminal Code left over from the Dutch colonial era.

In this regard, the Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights (Wamenkumham), Eddy Omar Sharif Hiariej stated that at least there are several basic values which are the background to why this interest is so urgent. The reason is, he emphasized that indeed the legal system in Indonesia should be able to adjust to how the current developments are going, then be able to be oriented towards modern criminal law so that it has the ability to guarantee legal certainty and be able to bridge the diversity of viewpoints held by Indonesian people as a result of high diversity in the country.

Furthermore, the Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights explained that so far, the Dutch-era Criminal Code that has been used and enforced in Indonesia has apparently been stabbed since 1800, which means that the criminal law system is currently around 222 years old.

With when it was drafted more than 2 centuries ago, of course the old Criminal Code had a classical view of criminal law, which was too focused on individual interests. Whereas on the other hand, in fact there have been many extraordinary developments in the era up to this moment, therefore it is time for the national Criminal Code to be enacted as an effort to adjust to the development of this era.

How could it not be, because the whole process of drafting the latest national Criminal Code continues to be oriented towards modern criminal law, namely by applying the principles of corrective justice, restorative justice and rehabilitative justice. Apart from that, the man who is also a Professor of Criminal Law at Gadjah Mada University (UGM) stated that without realizing it, it turns out that the old Dutch-era Criminal Code did not become legal certainty because it could be interpreted differently by legal experts.

Departing from this very fundamental issue, namely that the old Dutch-era Criminal Code was completely incapable of providing legal certainty because it was very multi-interpretable, it would suddenly create confusion regarding how the criminal law was enforced in Indonesia itself because even today no one knows at all what version it is. the most legitimate, the most original and the most correct is the translation according to whom.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Indonesian Parliament, Puan Maharani emphasized that her party, together with the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, continues to strive to be able to present a bridge that is able to capture and accommodate all the different points of view held by the very diverse Indonesian people.

Therefore, according to him, it is very important to have a national Criminal Code and at the same time become a very big step in efforts to continue to realize Indonesia as a legal state that upholds democratic values. So according to him, the new Criminal Code is not only an open recodification effort of all criminal provisions and is able to respond to the dynamics of change and development in society, but is also able to equate all the views of the Indonesian people who are very diverse. This is also in line with the Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights’ statement regarding legal certainty.

On the other hand, Expert Staff for Politics and Security, Y. Ambeg Paramarta explained that on his journey to reform the Criminal Code, it had even been proclaimed by the nation’s founding fathers a long time ago, namely since 1958. This is in line with the establishment of the National Legal Development Agency (LPHN), which is currently the National Legal Development Agency.

Ambeg added that the National Law Development Agency or at that time was named LPHN in 1963 really kept pushing for the renewal of the old Criminal Code left by the Dutch to become a national Criminal Code made by the nation’s children. So far, the Government itself has carried out a lot of outreach and also discussions regarding the national Criminal Code to all elements of society at large.

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