We will also prepare various implementing regulations for the Criminal Code to avoid the potential for abuse of law enforcement powers.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Hamonangan Laoly disseminated information about the new Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) to the American-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (AICC) to clear any misunderstandings about it.

The new Criminal Code was passed by the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) on December 6, 2022. Before that, the KUHP applied in Indonesia was adopted from a Dutch Criminal Code.

"After 77 years of Indonesia's independence, we can adopt our own Criminal Code, whose (development) process had been going on since 1963," the minister remarked at a virtual meeting of the AICC on Friday.

Furthermore, he talked about the death penalty in the new KUHP, which marks a new approach and a compromise between retentionists and abolitionists.

In the new Criminal Code, the death penalty is an alternative punishment with a probationary period of 10 years. If a convict shows good behavior during the probation period, the punishment may be changed to life imprisonment -- however, if not, the punishment will not be changed.

Furthermore, Laoly spoke about the issue of freedom of expression in the new KUHP.

The law clearly distinguishes between criticism and insults. It stipulates that making criticism based on public interest is not a crime, but insulting anyone is a hate crime, which can only be reported by the insulted person.

"This norm is actually applied in many countries. The new KUHP regulates it as an Antragsdelikt (an offense that cannot be prosecuted without a complaint from the victim), which can only be submitted by the victim themselves, not supporters or volunteers," the minister explained.

Furthermore, there are two core crimes included in the law, namely genocide and crimes against humanity. The sanctions against them are based on the Delphi method, which requires a panel of experts to provide group opinions or decisions.

In addition, the law stipulates extraordinary crimes against humanity as violations of human rights that will be heard by the Indonesian Human Rights Court.

The new Criminal Code also eradicates discrimination against women, children, and other minority groups regardless of their religion or belief.

In addition, it accommodates the legal principles that apply universally such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR or New York Convention 1966).

The minister informed that there is a grace period of three years before the new Criminal Code will become effective.

Hence, during this transitional period, his party is intensifying discussions with various stakeholders to ensure smooth implementation of the regulation later.

"We will also prepare various implementing regulations for the Criminal Code to avoid the potential for abuse of law enforcement powers," he added.

The new KUHP is expected to become a criminal law reform as it applies a different criminal justice system approach by offering corrective, rehabilitative, and restorative justice in the form of fines, social work, and conditional supervision, as alternative sanctions besides imprisonment.

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Translator: Muhammad Zulfikar, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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