Friday, December 1, 2023 | 04:57 WIB

Power, politics and law

Jakarta, IO – The three most influential pillars of a state of law are power, politics and law. These are intertwined and mutually influence each other. Either justify any means to achieve a goal or use the correct means to achieve a goal – whatever the planned goal happens to be. 

To understand the mutual influence of the three pillars, one needs to understand the meaning of the three. 

Basically, power can be defined as the ability of an individual or group to influence other people. Therefore, it can be said that those who hold power have a considerable responsibility, because not only can they influence other people, but they also influence the environment. 

In addition, the influence exerted by the power-holders can be based on their desires or shared interests (Wikipedia). However, this power must be exercised based on legal guidelines. 

Therefore, power can run systematically and orderly, not anarchically. On the other hand, the law cannot operate independently without power to implement the law into people’s lives. Because if that is what is expected, then the law is just wishful thinking. 

Meanwhile, politics is an effort undertaken by citizens to realize the common good (Aristotle’s Classical Theory). Politics concerns matters related to the administration of the government and the state. Politics is all that involves the process of formulating and implementing government public policy (Wikipedia). 

However, it often occurs in the practice of law that there is a tendency for law enforcers not to be able to differentiate between policy (politics) as a state goal (doelmatigheid) and the implementation of the policy itself (rechtmatigheid), such as in the Government’s trade policy. 

As a result, a minister can be “forced” to sit as a suspect/defendant in a corruption case just because the technical implementation in the policy is problematic, that is, containing the element of a criminal act. 

In such a case, it becomes increasingly clear from the law enforcement perspective that the difference between the legal status of a minister and a director-general as the one who technically implements the ministerial policy in government administration is increasingly obscure. The urgency of the legal problem now and in the future is how to position legal incidents related to state policy in certain matters whose implementation carries criminal ramifications. 

It cannot be denied that the current situation of the law and law enforcement are still controlled by power and politics, even though 50 percent of them still adhere to legal principles and norms and equality before the law. An example of such a problem can be seen in the base transceiver stations (BTS) case, which remains stalled because the prosecutor’s office has not touched the political circles involved. 

Romli Atmasasmita
Romli Atmasasmita, Professor Emeritus of Padjadjaran University

Another example: the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has not resolved the Formula E case until now. Also, cases of illegal mining are still blanketed in conflicts of power and political interests, hampering law enforcement. 

There is also the problem of land control, which has been interfered with by brokers. The original land owner who has the Freehold Title can still be manipulated, and the land title can be legally stolen by someone who is not the legal owner. All of this happened because of the involvement of power and land brokers. 

The above cases reflect how the law has been trampled by power and politics. They move and work without any legal basis. The power of the law has even been deceived through the assistance of unprincipled legal experts. Therefore, tyranny occurs when the minority overpowers the majority. 

In such circumstances, it becomes crystal clear and real that justice seekers who have no power to back them up and are socio-economically weak become increasingly slumped and cornered. In the end, the people came up with a cynical expression that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor. 

In the practice of law, it has become a public secret, and the majority of justice seekers have experienced it, such as when they report a case to integrated service points at police stations, when they register a case in court and during the trial process, which is always delayed from the schedule. 

Even the cassation or judicial review level, which uses an online system, does not guarantee the efficient delivery of excerpts of the decision. Sometimes, the waiting time takes more than a month. 

Read: An Appraisal Of Presidential Candidate Prabowo Subianto’s Lecture On The Transformation Of Our Nation, Moving Toward Golden Indonesia 2045

Ultimately, all obstacles and failures to fulfill legal certainty, justice and utility for justice seekers circle back to “the men behind the gun” and not to the online system itself. Then how can the function and role of the products of law from the hard work of the House of Representatives prevent and overcome the problems outlined above? It is a basic question that has found no foolproof answer in terms of content and format of regulatory laws that can work as a final and comprehensive solution. 

As long as the people who hold the gun (law) no longer have any social responsibility higher than their responsibility for their family and personal interests, then the law only functions as a tool of power to achieve their desires for power and control their wealth. When will the law become the commander and protector of our precious Indonesian humanity? 

Only God knows the answer.


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