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RKUHP ratification is the right step for the development of national law


By: Devan Janu Adrian )*

The realization of a legal state based on Pancasila requires a harmonious, synergistic, comprehensive and dynamic national legal system through legal development efforts. One of the legal development processes currently being carried out by the government is by revising the Criminal Code (KUHP).

Member of Commission III of the House of Representatives (DPR), I Wayan Sudirta emphasized the importance of ratifying the Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) as one of the efforts to support the development of national law to replace the Criminal Code left by the Dutch Colonial Government which is still in use today. In addition, the RKUHP is a way for the application of  modern general and international law principles , for example expanding the subject of criminal law (corporations) and adding types of criminal systems.

Sudirta said the RKUHP respects the uniqueness and richness of Indonesian customary law by recognizing the existence of customary criminal law, but with certain limitations. This is done as a joint effort to reduce the ” over ” criminalization of certain actions, while protecting a person legally. He explained in the Commission III Meeting with the Ministry of Law and Human Rights at the Parliament Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, that the RKUHP has a criminal aim that has changed from authoritarianism in the previous KUHP to be  modern  and balanced.

Sudirta also explained that the RKUHP recognizes ” restorative  justice ” and aims to restore society in balance, not just for revenge. Because of that, he appealed to all parties to take a broad view that the reform of the Criminal Code is very important after more than a hundred years of the Criminal Code left by the Dutch Colonial Government.

Besides that, Sudirta said several additions to explore the articles in the RKUHP, including the article regarding the law that lives in society (the principle of legality). This article is intended to recognize customary criminal law that has been in force in society and regulated in regional regulations. According to him, the purpose of the article is the application of restorative justice from the standpoint of local customary law for the recovery of victims and the environment.

In addition, Sudirta explained related to the article regarding attacking the dignity of the president and vice president and the article regarding insulting the government or institutions. This article is actually a variation of the insult article which the Constitutional Court (MK) has decided as a complaint offense.

Furthermore, the article related to blasphemy is intended to respect religions that are recognized in Indonesia and become the nation’s philosophy in the First Precepts of Pancasila. Apart from that, this article is a way to protect religion and avoid conflict as it realizes that Indonesian people respect religion.

Then, Sudirta said articles on animal abuse, articles related to decency (adultery and living together), and articles on transitional provisions. He reminded that the provisions in the RKUHP could not satisfy all parties. So to accommodate all legal developments, the RKUHP continues to respect legal instruments for reviewing articles at the implementation level.

In line with Sudirta, Coordinator of Information and Communication on Law and Human Rights, Ministry of Communication and Informatics (Kominfo), Filmon Warouw when opening the RKUHP Socialization in Semarang said that the government’s efforts to revise and compile a national criminal law recodification system aimed to replace the old Criminal Code as a legal product of the era of government colonial Dutch East Indies so that it is in accordance with the dynamics of society in Indonesia.

Filmon representing the Director of Political, Legal and Security Information, Directorate General of Information and Public Communication (IKP) of the Ministry of Communication and Information, Bambang Gunawan said that his party was working with the Coordinating Ministry for Politics, Law and Security (Kemenko Polhukam) and the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Humans (Kemenkumham) has  kicked  off  the RKUHP Public Dialogue some time ago. The public dialogue aims to provide understanding to the public and open space for dialogue to gather input on  the RKUHP draft  in accordance with President Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi) directions.

Kominfo together with the RKUHP team are also actively carrying out  public  hearings  on RKUHP socialization as a fulfillment of the requirements of Article 96 of Law 12 of 2011 concerning Formation of Legislation. This is in order to carry out the Constitutional Court’s mandate regarding meaningful  public  participation . This event is expected to be a means of socializing discussions related to adjustments to the RKUHP to public elements.

Semarang State University (Unnes) Professor, Benny Riyanto added that currently the Criminal Code is more than 100 years old. Because of this, the RKUHP becomes a momentum for criminal law reform. He hopes that during the last session of the DPR this year, the RKUHP can be passed into law.

The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Eddy Omar Sharif Hiariej stated the importance of integrating criminal law which is growing into the Indonesian criminal law system. Recodification efforts need to be made which includes consolidation and synchronization of criminal law regulations both vertically and horizontally into a systematic code of laws. This recodification effort is also aimed at solving problems that arise due to the unclear implementation of  Wetboek van Strafrecht voor Nederlandsch Indie .

Eddy added that apart from being a recodification effort, the renewal of the National Criminal Code was also aimed at harmonization, namely by adjusting the Criminal Code to the development of universal criminal law and modernization efforts, namely by changing the philosophy of classical retaliation ( Daad – Strafrecht ), which is oriented to acts only eyes, becomes an integrative philosophy ( Daad – Daderstrafrecht – Slachtoffer ) which pays attention to aspects of acts, perpetrators and victims of crime.

)* The author is a contributor to Persada Institute

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