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RKUHP Stimulates the Succession of National Law Development


By: Bagus Dirgantara )*

Member of Commission III DPR RI, I Wayan Sudirta said the draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) is an operant or  carry over draft law (RUU)  from the DPR RI for the 2014-2019 period. The RKUHP itself is a statutory regulation that forms the basis of criminal law in Indonesia.

However, at the end of its ratification in 2019, many parties then questioned and debated some of the contents of the articles in the RKUHP so that the national legal umbrella was canceled to be ratified as a Law (UU).

The drafting of the Criminal Code is due to the fact that the applicable criminal law is no longer relevant in this digital era. Many of the original drafters of the Criminal Code have even died and left a legacy, namely the result of thoughts, studies and research on the development of national criminal law.

The current government has committed to carry out outreach to various regions and involve as many related parties as possible so that the community can have meaningful knowledge and understanding as developments in the Constitutional Court (MK) Ruling.

To be able to produce an RKUHP that is of good quality, progressive and in accordance with the needs of the community, the drafting of this RKUHP has involved many criminal law experts, law enforcement and judicial officials, members of the public, as well as all representatives who are experts in other fields.

Wayan Sudirta explained that the RKUHP prioritizes national interests, namely the interest in reforming the national criminal law which is comprehensive and long-lasting for the long term. Therefore, ratification of the RKUHP is very urgent.

The urgency of ratifying the RKUHP is the government’s effort to replace the Penal Code left by the Dutch Colonial government and as one of the government’s efforts to support the development of national law. This RKUHP is indeed designed to update material criminal law which contains the mission of recodifying criminal law which has now developed in all statutory regulations.

That is, regulate criminal provisions in general as general provisions or lex generali, namely as the main guideline for criminal arrangements in Indonesia. The RKUHP of course also regulates the general principles or principles of national law. Apart from that, the RKUHP is also a way for the application of modern general and international legal principles. For example, the expansion of the subject of criminal law (corporations) and the addition of the type of punishment system.

The public is also asked not to worry because the RKUHP respects the uniqueness and richness of Indonesian customary law by recognizing the existence of customary criminal law, but still with certain limitations because the purpose of punishment in the RKUHP has changed from authoritarianism to be modern and balanced. This is done as a joint effort to reduce excessive criminalization of certain actions while at the same time protecting someone legally certain.

Wayan Sudirta added that the RKUHP recognizes “restorative justice” and aims to restore society in balance, not just for revenge. Therefore, he appealed to all parties to take a broad view that reforming the Criminal Code is very important after passing more than 100 (one hundred) years of the Criminal Code left by the Dutch colonial government.

Wayan Sudirta said there were a number of additions to explore the articles in the RKUHP, including the article on living law in society (origin of legality). This article is intended to recognize customary criminal law that has been in force in society and regulated in regional regulations. Another purpose of this article is the application of restorative justice from the standpoint of local customary law for the recovery of victims and the environment.

Furthermore, articles regarding attacks on the dignity of the President and Vice President and articles on insulting the government or institutions. This article is actually a variation of the defamation article which the Constitutional Court has decided as a complaint offense.

Then, the article related to blasphemy which is intended to respect religion that is recognized in Indonesia and becomes the nation’s philosophy in the first precepts in Pancasila. This article is a way to protect religion and avoid conflict, as there are many recognized and unrecognized religions in Indonesia.

The RKUHP stimulates the succession of national legal development in which the changes contained in several articles are the provisions and aspirations of many parties.

provisions in the RKUHP cannot satisfy all parties because Indonesia is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country which is bound to have many conflicts. Even though the government has made very good efforts in receiving criticism and input from all parties, in order to accommodate all legal developments, the RKUHP still respects legal instruments to review articles at the implementation level.

When the RKUHP draft is ratified, it is not the only provision that is final and cannot be changed or is difficult to change. From the transitional provisions of the RKUHP, there is a law enforcement period (2 years) which still provides an opportunity for the public to examine both at the level of implementation and judicial review at the Constitutional Court.

)* The author is a criminal law observer at the Nusa Bangsa Institute

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