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Ratification of the Indonesian Criminal Code Bill

The Criminal Code or Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana (KUHP) is the foundation of the regulation in Indonesia that stipulates criminal acts, originating from Dutch colonial law, namely Wetboek van Strafrecht voor Nederlands-Indië, which has been in effect since 1918. The Criminal Code is a prominent principle of criminal law in Indonesia as the Criminal Code deals with criminal rules, violations and other regulations related to crime.

At the 11th Plenary Session Period II of the year 2022-2023, on 6 December 2022, the House of Representatives (DPR) passed a new criminal code to improve the applicable law in Indonesia. The reason for the promulgation of the Criminal Code Bill is that the current Criminal Code is no longer relevant to the conditions and unable to accommodate the needs of society in fulfilling legal certainty when it comes to crime. Another reason for the promulgation of the Criminal Code Bill is so that Indonesia has a Criminal Code made purely by itself and not from a product of colonization.

However, the promulgation of the Criminal Code Bill resulted in many controversies, including enactment of articles in relation to defamation of the President, cohabitation, witchcraft, vandalism, treason, the spread of communist teachings and reduced sentences for perpetrators of corruption. In addition, in the Criminal Code Bill, there are several articles that are closely related to companies, including:

  • Article 447 concerning the Crime of Disclosing Secrets;
  • Article 500 concerning Fraudulent Crimes;
  • Article 512 concerning Crimes Against Confidence in Running a Business;
  • Article 516 concerning Criminal Acts of Cheating Managers or Commissioners;
  • Article 517 concerning Harmful Acts and Fraud Against Creditors.

Not only that, the Criminal Code Bill also introduces a new form of sanctions. The KUHP previously only stipulated imprisonment and fines, but the Criminal Code Bill adds closing sentences, supervision sentences and social work. This Bill also inserts certain conditions so that perpetrators are not given excessive jail sentences and provides exceptions to certain circumstances. Regarding the enactment of the Criminal Code Bill, based on Article 624 of the Criminal Code, this new Code shall be effective three years from the date of promulgation, so that within a three-year transitional period, all the currently enacted articles in the Criminal Code Bill may be changed.

If you, a prospective client, have further inquiries in relation to the topic explained above, Schinder Law Firm is one of many corporate law firms that has handled a lot of similar matters, with many experienced and professional civil lawyers and dispute lawyers in its arsenal, making it one of the top firms in Indonesia. Feel free to contact us atinfo@schinderlawfirm.com for further consultation.

Author: Dewi Susanti

Schinder Consultant London Ltd.


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