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It’s Time for Colonial Law to be Replaced by National Law


By: Afrizal )*

It is time for the law inherited from the Dutch colonial era which has been used by Indonesia as a legal system to be replaced with the original legal product made by this nation itself because there are many things that are much more relevant to the novelty of the times.

The social world is constantly changing so that it also demands an adjustment to the criminal law paradigm. Because if the criminal law paradigm still uses things that are already very much irrelevant to the novelty that is happening, then the law that should give rise to the principle of justice will be unfair and deviate from its dignity.

Therefore, it is very important for the Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) to be ratified immediately. Not only about the relevance to changes in the social world, but in fact in its implementation the government always involves all elements of civil society as a form of accommodation for legal democratization because people’s inputs are used as opinions in its formulation.

The head of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), Budi Gunawan, stated that so far Indonesia is still using the old Criminal Code which is a product of the Dutch colonial era. Whereas in it there are several laws that do not at all reflect the cultural values ​​of this nation, including the basic values ​​of the Pancasila philosophy.

Departing from this anxiety, there really is no need for any more reason to reject the renewal of the colonial law, which should be replaced as soon as possible. Furthermore, Budi Gunawan also expressed his great appreciation for the government’s efforts to propose this RKUHP to the Indonesian House of Representatives, even though the idea was started in 1964 and has undergone many studies by professors and criminal law experts.

The man who also serves as Chairman of the Indonesian E-Sports Executive Board also admitted that the RKUHP itself is a dynamic change in the criminal law system starting from the place, space and time. So it can be said that the reform of the RKUHP highly upholds the principles of democratization, modernization and decolonization of the criminal law system.

In fact, it also highly upholds respect for applicable customary law and living in society (living law), which as far as the old Criminal Code is concerned, it is still not upheld. So now is the time for harmonization and synchronization of criminal law in Indonesia.

The head of BIN also added that this RKUHP has a much more complex nature because it also anticipates the universal influence of globalization in the economic field with its impact and effect on the role of criminal law competence. It is undeniable that with its complex nature, it will be very helpful for religious leaders, people’s representatives to legal experts who so far consider that the Indonesian nation itself really needs a new criminal law that is much more in line with the conditions of today’s society.

It should be noted that in fact the RKUHP has been ratified since 2019, but the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo at that time considered that there were still several problems that still needed to be studied further. He stated that the postponement of the ratification was so that the government would be able to get much better input and substance and in accordance with the wishes of the entire community, in other words indeed the role of the community had been greatly accommodated by the government in the drafting of this RKUHP.

The former Director General of Legislation at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham), Benny Riyanto, agreed that the government was delaying the ratification of the RKUHP in 2019 because there was still minimal involvement or participation from the community. So the government immediately tries to involve more public participation at a higher level so that it fulfills the principle of meaningful participation, in which there are three elements, namely the right to be heard, the right to get an explanation and the right to be considered.

According to him, the RKUHP has very much accommodated input from civil society, such as the formulation of norms in the article on blasphemy and abortion. Moreover, there is also input on norms related to typical Indonesian criminal acts, namely regarding people who claim to have supernatural powers that can harm others, besides that the RKUHP does accommodate the nation’s cultural values.

Meanwhile, Professor of the Faculty of Law, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Marcus Priyo Gunarto stated that the socialization process regarding the RKUHP is very important so that all people are more aware and open information so as to minimize the possibility of misunderstanding from the public.

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