Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has emphasized that the preparation of the draft Criminal Code Law (RKUHP) must involve public participation, Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights, Prof. Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej, has said.

"The President emphasized public participation. Public voices must be heard as widely as possible," Hiariej said in Jakarta on Wednesday.

During the limited meeting held on Tuesday (August 2, 2022) , the Head of State also emphasized the importance of drafting a Criminal Code Law for Indonesia.

Following up on the President's directive, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights has initiated a number of agendas simultaneously, among which, the House of Representatives (DPR) will invite public opinion.

At the same time, the ministry has also been asked to massively educate the public in all provinces about the RKUHP. The socialization of RKUHP must involve students, non-governmental organizations, and community organizations, among others.

"The goal is to ask the public for inputs," he said.

He also expressed his gratitude to the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), which has recorded around 104 pages of the RKUHP, after the government submitted the Criminal Code Law draft on July 6, 2022.

He said the recording started from Article 1 and ended with the explanation. It will later be used by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights to improve the RKUHP.

"From the maker's point of view, this is definitely good, but we need someone other than the formulator," he said.

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President Widodo has urged his ranks to intensify open discussions on various issues highlighted in the Criminal Code Bill (RUU KUHP) to develop a clearer understanding among the people as well as seek their opinions.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, earlier said that the President conveyed the directive while chairing an internal meeting on the progress of discussions on the RUU KUHP at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta.

"Why (should the public be involved)? (It is) because the law reflects the people's lives. Thus, any law that will be enforced must be understood and approved by the community. It is the essence of democracy in the law enforcement (process)," the coordinating minister remarked.

The RUU KUHP is now almost complete, as it has reached the final stages of discussion, Mahfud noted.

"Why is it said to be almost completed? (It is) because the RUU KUHP includes more than 700 articles, which, if broken down into detail, can lead to thousands of issues. However, now, (only) several (debated) matters remain. Some 14 issues need to be cleared," he informed.

The 14 subjects cover the living law, death penalty, offending the dignity of the president and vice president, unlicensed medical and dentist practices, damage caused by poultry and cattle in freshly sown agricultural fields, and contempt of court.

The issues also comprise blasphemy, animal abuse, homelessness, abortion, rape, adultery and cohabitation, as well as the issue of fraudulent advocates that have the possibility of being biased to a certain law profession, which had been proposed to be removed.

Thus, to increase public understanding of the issues, the government will hold more open and proactive discussions through two methods, Mahfud said.

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Translator: M Zulfikar, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Suharto
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