Supreme Court updates definition of “petty crime”

The Indonesian Supreme Court issued Supreme Court Regulation No. 2 of 2012 to update the definition of petty crime under the Indonesian Criminal Code.

Under the outdated Criminal Code formulated in the 1960s, the nominal value of petty crime was Rp. 250,- and it is now multiplied by ten thousand times to Rp. 2,5 million. The affected articles would be Article 364, 373, 379, 384, 407 and 482 of the Criminal Code. With this decree, cases involving the nominal value less than Rp. 2,5 million does not need to go into the process of cassation with fast court proceedings that can be done in a day, or it may not even be criminalized.

I would see that this was a good response from the Supreme Court with the increase of media reports on citizens being criminalized for stealing a pair of sandals or cocoa beans – those of trivial nominal value. True,  no crime can go unpunished, but the sense of “justice” of many law enforcement agencies were seriously questioned in light of these cases.

Will the Supreme Court regulation affect the police and prosecutors? No, it will only be binding with the Supreme Court judges, but it is a good start considering that we can’t expect the revision of the Criminal Code to finish anytime soon.

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2 thoughts on “Supreme Court updates definition of “petty crime””

  1. Prima facie the Supreme Court ( once more) looks like sensible, pragmatic and efficient.

    But since you write it will not affect police and prosecutors (which fact is actually beyond my comprehension; which in it’s turn indicates my alarmingly high level of ignorance :)) I wonder what the change will bring future petty thieves …

    1. The regulation will definitely affect police and prosecutors indirectly, as they might want to rethink which cases should be pursued in court. There will be trials, but it is just that it will be short and the thief need not to be put in jail. In some other opinion pieces that I’ve read, the purpose of this is to put the restorative justice aspect as a priority (i.e. if the thief is forgiven by the owner – like the grandmother who had stolen cocoa beans). We’ll see how this turn out.

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