In this edition of Legislative Journal we will review three of the thirty-seven bills that are included in the 2015 National Legislative Program (Prolegnas) to be passed this year. The three Bills are the Bill on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Bill on Information and Electronic Transactions, and the Bill on the Code of Criminal Law.
The Bill on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
In addition to establishing the Human Rights Court, the Indonesian government initiated the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR), through Law No. 27/2004 on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Unfortunately, on December, 2007, the Constitutional Court (MK) nullified the law. The Court gave the option to re-draft the Law on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, so as to make it in line with the 1945 Constitution whilst still upholding the principles of humanitarian law and the international human rights law. The Ministry of Law and Human Rights is the endorser of the bill. It’s the government’s effort to show to the people that it is still willing to reveal the truth about what really happened in the past for the sake of closure. The bill no longer mentions the possibility of giving amnesty to perpetrators of gross human rights violations is the government’s way of underlining its commitment for moving forward. Nevertheless, there are still points in the bill that requires deliberation:
- The bill is still very abstract, it gives the commission a broad authority to seek the truth about gross human rights violations, but the bill does not mention which period can be investigated. This could mean that the “thin” Law would leave the commission without mandate, or clear authority and mechanisms.
- The bill proposes the use of a list of candidates consisting of 42 names that was given to the President of the Republic of Indonesia in 2005. Some argue that this approach is more efficient because it does not repeat expenses for selecting KKR commissioners. But that means we have an outdated list of commissioner candidates. Many of the names called back then have since occupied other positions. In its current state, the bill does not mention public consultation mechanisms in the selection process of KKR commissioners. The bill has not yet required a gender balance and geographical representation to ensure that the commission’s faces reflect the diversity of Indonesia.
- The bill allows the National KKR to establish regional offices. But it does not yet give specific authority to KKR in special provinces such as Papua and Aceh.
Another provision to be consider in the discussion of the bill is about the victims right to repair. The bill mentioned compensation and restitution, but have not used the concept of reparations that are consistent with the law on human rights, such as means of ensuring the satisfaction of victims with acknowledgment, apology, memorialization, and various other forms of reparation listed in the United Nations Principles and Guidelines for Remedy and Reparation of the Victims of Gross Human Rights Violations.
The Bill on Information and Electronic Transaction
The Ministry of Communication and Informatics spearheaded this bill. It is intended as an amendment of the Law No. 11/2008 on Information and Electronic Transactions. The discussion of the bill is a continuation from the discussion on the last Prolegnas (2010-2014). At first, UU ITE was made to ensure that all electronic financial transactions are legal and valid. But in practice, one particular provision in the law expanded the use of the law, i.e., Article 27 of UU ITE. Said article has been used often to ensnare someone with defamation. This happens due to the article susceptibility to multiple interpretations and the general lack of comprehension between the private sphere and the public sphere in law enforcement. According to the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SafeNet) and Elsam, between the year 2008 to 2014, 69 cases were based on Art. 27 of UU ITE. And then there’s the provision granting law enforcement authorities the right to arrest without conducting prior examination. This is why many have welcomed the amendment bill.
By Pradnya Paramitha
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