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The Indonesian Nation Needs the Criminal Code


By: Dwi Cahya Alfarizi )*

The Criminal Code (KUHP) is indeed necessary for Indonesia , especially since the government has revised the regulations so that these updates will become regulations that are relevant and not out of date.

The new Criminal Code is a legal product of the nation’s children which contains a balance between human rights and their obligations. This means that the aspects discussed are not only how to claim human rights, but also discuss their obligations.

This was said by the Chairperson of the Indonesian Law and Criminology Society ( Mahupik ) of North Sumatra, Dr. Rizkan Zulyadi at the Criminal Code socialization event held at the Medan Angkasa Grand Mecure Hotel, Medan.

On the same occasion, a legal expert from Diponegoro University as one of the speakers, Prof. Dr. Pujiono, SH, M.Hum., explained that the Criminal Code is a reflection of the civilization and value system of a nation. Indonesia of course needs a Criminal Code Law that reflects the soul and spirit and reflects the nation’s civilization.

The same thing was conveyed by Prof. Praise that The basic idea of the Dutch colonial Criminal Code focused on individual interests and freedoms, was more secular in nature and was influenced by the concept of separation and state church .

The basic sources of the new Criminal Code were built consciously based on the values of Pancasila, the idea of a mono-dualistic balance, historical experience, empirical conditions, global and national societal developments, scientific developments and comparative materials.

Regarding the policy formulation of the new Criminal Code, Prof. Pujiono explained, the goals and guidelines for sentencing include the principle of guilt, the age limit for criminal responsibility for children, a special chapter on sentencing against children and the authority of judges to be able to stop or not continue the process of examining juvenile criminal cases, death penalty and possibility of a life sentence convict getting parole.

Meanwhile, UGM Law Faculty Academic, Prof. Dr. Marcus Priyo Gunarto, SH, M.Hum., explained the advantages of the new Criminal Code when compared to the WvS Criminal Code or the Dutch version which is 30 years old.

According to Prof. Marcus, there are 17 superiors, but the most fundamental change is in book one, because in that book there is a paradigm shift regarding crime, where punishment is a means to an end.

In criminal law, it has the aim, first, to protect individuals or develop individuals or a social welfare policy. Criminal law also has the aim of providing public protection or social defense policy, as well as protection against abuse of sanctions and reactions.

In other words, the Criminal Code also prevents the taking of justice by the community as well as the abuse of law enforcement powers. In the Criminal Code, restorative justice, corrective justice and rehabilitative paradigm will all lead to the problem of the types of punishment.      

The crimes in the old Criminal Code mostly emphasized the types of crimes that were deprivation of liberty. However, in the context of the national Criminal Code, there is a possibility that if a judge imposes a sentence of less than 5 or 3 years, he can choose to be sentenced to a fine, social work and criminal supervision.

On the same occasion, Academics from the University of Indonesia (UI) , Dr. Surastini Fitriasih revealed that various crucial issues, including those originally listed in the RKUHP, have been dropped in the new KUHP. There are 14 crucial issues, 4 issues that have been dropped, namely related to practicing dentists without a license, poultry destroying gardens and land, criminal acts of fraudulent advocates and criminal acts of vagrancy because they are considered to be regulated in regional regulations.

Related to provisions regarding customary law ( living law ) as one of the grounds for imposing punishment. What is still in question is the enactment of the law , namely where the law lives, local law, as long as it is not regulated in the Criminal Code. However, there are limitations in accordance with Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, human rights and general legal principles that are recognized by the people of nations.

The Criminal Code has a mission of decolonization which means eliminating colonial overtones in the substance of the old Criminal Code, namely realizing corrective-rehabilitative-restorative justice. Objectives and Guidelines for Sentencing (Standard of Sentencing) and contains alternative criminal sanctions. For example, punishment for supervision and social work, if not more than five years.

Next is the consolidation mission, which is to rearrange criminal provisions from the old Criminal Code and parts of the Criminal Law outside the Criminal Code as a whole with Recodification (open-limited). The aim is to collect back the scattered rules to be compiled back into the Criminal Code.

In addition, there is also a harmonization mission as a form of adaptation and harmony in responding to the latest legal developments, without setting aside living law .

Moreover, the revised Criminal Code also provides guarantees for human rights, such as freedom of opinion and expression with certain limits regulated in laws and regulations. The process of drafting the Criminal Code has also been colored by various very intense and lengthy discussions.

Therefore, the Criminal Code is important because Indonesia needs law reform that is in accordance with the times and removes the colonial stigma.

)* The author is a contributor to Persada Institute

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