Commission III Started the Discussion on the Draft Bill on Criminal Code: Public Participation and Result of Discussion must be Accessible for the Public

On 26 October 2015, the Commission III of the House of Representatives officially submitted the Issues Inventory List (Daftar Inventaris Masalah – “DIM”) of the Draft Bill on Criminal Code (“RKUHP”) to the Minister of Law and Human Rights. Aziz Syamsuddin, Chairman of the Commission III, explained during a meeting with the government that the numbers of DIM gathered were 2,394 and 88 new issues were included under the RKUHP’s DIM. During the meeting, Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoy said that “the government agrees with the RKUHP and we appreciate it as it could be historical for the country”.

Later that night after the meeting, approximately around 7.30 pm, the Commission III held a meeting on RKUHP led by Benny Kabur Harman (Democratic Party, Deputy Chairman of the Commission III), and the lawmakers agreed upon the following issues:

  1. The discussion on DIM will be organized from 29 October 2015 until September 2016. The draft of RKUHP will be concluded on December 2016.
  2. During October 2015 until December 2016, meetings on RKUHP will be narrowed by the drafting team and synchronizing team. There will be a work visit to certain areas, such as Aceh that uses Qanun, and Bali that has strong customary law. Both issues will be synchronized with RKUHP discussion.
  3. Chairman of the Commission III requested the Government to prepare specific schedule to discuss RKUHP with the Commission III, as RKUHP’s DIM is coming from 10 factions of the parliament. The President himself has requested to accelerate the process in discussing RKUHP’s DIM. The Government, on the other hand, requested a period to plan a timeline and schedule to discuss RKUHP with Commission III.
  4. Related to sensitive provisions under RKUHP, the discussion will be accelerated and issues that yet to be agreed upon will be discussed during lobbying and work meetings. The House already appointed an expert on legal language, in addition to expert on Indonesian language.
  5. To affirm the requirement on presence, the House implements strict rule regarding the absence of a member of the work committee(Panitia Kerja – Panja). Any member who fails to appear in three consecutive meetings will be released from the work commitee. Every meeting must reach an agreement on DIM, and those who do not appear during the meeting are considered approving the result.

Aliansi Nasional Reformasi KUHP (The National Alliance for Criminal Code Reform) applauded the consensus reached by Commission III in regards to the RKUHP, especially on the period of the discussion during 29 October 2015 until September 2016. Another issue that must also be applauded is a strict rule regarding lawmaker’s presence during RKUHP meetings.

In terms of legislation process, the time availability, along with a focused, effective, and participative discussion are the prerequisite on whether the RKUHAP is legitimate or not. The National Alliance is specifically addressing the issue on public asses to the result of the meeting, especially the public participation on the meetings organized by RKUHP work committee. To that end, public engagement during the discussion is mandatory. It should be executed even earlier by the Government and the House by giving an open access to the public.

The Work Committee of the Commission III must inform the result of the meetings to the public in timely manner and made it available to the public, including the agreement with the government. The National Alliance deems this issue as crucial. In addition, the National Alliance also encourage the parliament to allow the public and media to attend the RKUHP meetings and discussions, and refrain the practice in conducting meetings during the night.

The National Alliance will not tolerate hasty discussion, which will neglect the quality of the RKUHP draft. Considering the scope and depth of the RKUHP, the National Alliance urges the parliament to allocate proper time in discussing the Draft Bill for effective and participative process.

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