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RKUHP Realizes Harmonization of the National Legal System

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By: Panji Saputra)*

Indonesia is a legal state based on Pancasila, which requires a harmonious and dynamic national legal system. The effort to realize the legal system is by revising and re-codifying the national criminal law with the aim of replacing the old, outdated Criminal Code with the RKUHP.

The RKUHP itself began to be drafted in 1970, but efforts to have the RKUHP submitted to the DPR for discussion have apparently not materialized. Then in 2004, the RKUHP drafting team was formed, which was then submitted by the then President of the Republic of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to the DPR for further discussion.

Eight years later, precisely in 2012, the DPR for the 2014-2019 period then agreed on the draft RKUHP in first-level decision-making, but there were waves of protests against a number of articles in the RKUHP.

In September 2019, President Joko Widodo decided to postpone the ratification of the RKUHP and ordered a review of the problematic articles. Members of the DPR then officially resumed the discussion of the RKUHP in April 2020, the discussion continues to this day.

In the current discussion process, there are several articles of the RKUHP that have caused controversy, debate and polemic in the community.

For example, those related to insults to the President and Vice President, insults to the government and the prohibition of incitement to fight against the general authorities.

Meanwhile, other controversial articles that are still being studied in depth are legal issues that live in society, capital punishment, blasphemy and insults that attack the dignity of the President and vice president.

In addition, there is also the issue of decency crimes which include several issues that are quite controversial, including abortion, adultery, infidelity and polygamy.

Regarding the direction from President Jokowi during a limited meeting regarding the RKUHP on August 2 2022 and the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs coordination on August 12, 2022, the Ministry of Communication and Information in collaboration with the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs and the Ministry of Law and Human Rights has organized a kick off event for the RKUHP public dialogue in Jakarta on the 13th.

This of course provides understanding to the public and opens a dialogue space to gather input on the RKUHP, as well as being the opening for a series of RKHP public dialogue events in 11 other cities in Indonesia.

Benny Riyanto as Professor of Law at Diponegoro University (UNDIP) revealed that the Criminal Code Bill needs to be ratified immediately to follow the paradigm shift in criminal law.

According to Benny, Indonesia needs a new criminal law that is more in line with the current conditions of society. He explained that there is a paradigm shift in the current teaching of criminal law, namely the paradigm of retributive justice to a paradigm of justice that includes the principles of corrective, restorative and rehabilitative justice.

Benny stated that the plan to ratify the Criminal Code Bill into law had actually been approved at the 2019 plenary session. However, Indonesian President Joko Widodo on September 23, 2019 asked the DPR to postpone the ratification of the Criminal Code Bill along with 3 other bills because the draft was still receiving rejection from the public. .

The existence of the RKUHP is of course expected to produce a national criminal law with a modern paradigm that is no longer based on retributive justice, but is oriented towards corrective, restorative and rehabilitative justice. The various pros and cons that emerged against the RKUHP occurred because of various perceptions and interests that existed in the community.

On this basis, the government opens a discussion room with various elements of the community to gather input, equalize perceptions and as an accountability for the process of forming laws and regulations that are carried out transparently and involve the community.

Prof. Dr. Benny Riyanto as Head of the National Legal Development Agency said the public discussion regarding the RKUHP is expected to explain and accommodate the aspirations of the community for the development of national law.

Mahfud MD as Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security (Polhukam) said that the government had decided to resume dialogue with the public. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting on August 2, 2022, in which President Joko Widodo requested that the draft RKUHP be disseminated to the entire community.

Mahfud said, it has been 59 years that we have continued to discuss and draft this RKUHP through teams that alternated and received legal political directions from seven presidents. So that this plan can be said to be ready to be implemented immediately.

The RKUHP also gives an important place to the concept of restorative justice which is currently starting to become a legal need and awareness of the Indonesian people.

In addition, this RKUHP also regulates customary law as living law which has long been recognized in the community

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