Pelanggaran Prosedur dapat Membuat UU Cipta Kerja Batal

Lebih dari seminggu sesudah Rancangan Undang-Undang (RUU) Cipta Kerja disetujui menjadi Undang-Undang oleh Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR) bersama pemerintah pada Senin, 5 Oktober 2020, publik masih belum dapat mengakses naskah resmi peraturan yang pertama kali diwacanakan oleh Presiden Joko Widodo tersebut.

Hingga 13 Oktober 2020, berbagai pesan berantai dan kiriman warganet di kanal-kanal media sosial mensirkulasikan setidaknya tiga versi non-resmi naskah RUU Cipta Kerja, dengan jumlah halaman bervariasi: 905, 1.035, dan 812 halaman. Sementara itu, laman resmi DPR hanya menyediakan satu versi naskah RUU Cipta Kerja, yaitu draf setebal 1.028 halaman usulan presiden yang disampaikan sebagai lampiran Surat Presiden bertanggal 7 Februari 2020.

Tak hanya masyarakat biasa, sejumlah anggota DPR bahkan sempat menyatakan tidak mengetahui draf final RUU Cipta Kerja yang telah melalui proses persetujuan bersama di Rapat Paripurna lalu. Padahal, UU No. 12 Tahun 2011 tentang Pembentukan Peraturan Perundang-undangan menentukan DPR dan pemerintah untuk menyebarluaskan setiap rancangan undang-undang sejak tahap perencanaan, penyusunan, pembahasan, hingga ketika diundangkan nanti menjadi undang-undang yang sah.

Abainya DPR dan pemerintah dalam memberikan akses atas draf final RUU Cipta Kerja kepada masyarakat merupakan pelanggaran atas prosedur pembentukan undang-undang. Namun, tak hanya terjadi pada tahap akhir menjelang disahkan, setidaknya empat pelanggaran prosedur juga telah mewarnai perjalanan pembentukan peraturan ini sejak awal proses penyusunan.

Empat pelanggaraan prosedur

Pertama, pemerintah mengabaikan partisipasi publik sejak tahap penyusunan. RUU Cipta Kerja mulai disusun pada akhir 2019 oleh pemerintah di bawah koordinasi Kementerian Koordinator Bidang Perekonomian. Selama proses penyusunan itu, pihak pemangku kepentingan yang akan terdampak—seperti kelompok buruh—tidak dilibatkan sama sekali. Padahal, pemerintah sejak awal mengklaim bahwa RUU itu disusun dengan tujuan menciptakan lapangan kerja baru dan meningkatkan kesejahteraan pekerja.

Selain itu, publik juga sulit memperoleh naskah RUU Cipta Kerja yang sedang disiapkan pemerintah. Bukannya menyediakan akses yang terbuka bagi publik untuk mendapatkan naskah resmi, pemerintah pada saat itu justru mengklaim draf RUU Cipta Kerja yang beredar luas di publik melalui media sosial dan pesan berantai sebagai hoaks. Langkah pemerintah yang serba tertutup itu bertentangan dengan prinsip keterbukaan dan keharusan penyediaan partisipasi masyarakat yang diatur dalam Pasal 5 dan 96 UU No. 12 Tahun 2011 tentang Pembentukan Peraturan Perundang-undangan.

Kedua, DPR memotong tahapan dalam proses pembahasan. Pembahasan RUU Cipta Kerja dilaksanakan oleh Badan Legislasi yang berisi 80 anggota DPR dari 9 fraksi di DPR. Mengacu Pasal 155 ayat (1) Peraturan DPR No. 1 Tahun 2020 tentang Tata Tertib, seluruh materi dalam Daftar Inventarisasi Masalah (DIM) RUU Cipta Kerja harus dibahas terlebih dahulu dalam Rapat Kerja Badan Legislasi.

Faktanya, Badan Legislasi justru langsung membentuk Panitia Kerja dan menyerahkan proses pembahasan DIM RUU Cipta Kerja kepada Panitia Kerja tanpa dibahas terlebih dahulu dalam Rapat Kerja Badan Legislasi. Pemangkasan proses itu mencederai prinsip keterwakilan fraksi mengingat jumlah anggota Panitia Kerja hanya separuh dari jumlah anggota Badan Legislasi, dan tidak semua fraksi memiliki perwakilan di dalam Panitia Kerja itu.

Ketiga, DPR melakukan pembahasan pada masa reses. Meskipun hal itu tidak dilarang, Pasal 1 angka 13 dan Pasal 239 ayat (2) Tata Tertib DPR menentukan bahwa masa reses seharusnya digunakan oleh para anggota DPR untuk mengunjungi daerah pemilihannya dalam rangka menyerap aspirasi konstituen. DPR beralasan, situasi pandemi Covid-19 memaksa mereka untuk mempercepat proses pembahasan dengan menggunakan masa reses.

Namun, sejumlah kalangan membalikkan argumentasi itu: dengan alasan yang sama yaitu situasi pandemi, DPR seharusnya memprioritaskan pelaksanaan fungsi pengawasan terhadap kebijakan pemerintah dalam menangani pandemi, bukan justru membahas sebuah RUU yang tidak memiliki urgensi di tengah masa kedaruratan kesehatan masyarakat.

Keempat, DPR dan pemerintah memasukkan materi yang belum pernah dibahas. Dalam naskah yang dibawa ke Rapat Paripurna, terdapat materi dari tiga undang-undang terkait perpajakan yang dimasukkan ke dalam RUU Cipta Kerja, yaitu UU Ketentuan Umum Perpajakan, UU Pajak Penghasilan, dan UU Pajak Pertambahan Nilai Barang dan Jasa dan Pajak Penjualan Barang Mewah.

Padahal, selama proses pembahasan sejak April hingga akhir September, berdasarkan dokumen pembahasan yang dapat diakses oleh publik, materi itu belum dibahas secara memadai dan tanpa konsultasi publik. Pemerintah sendiri sejak awal telah mengusulkan RUU Ketentuan dan Fasilitas Perpajakan untuk Penguatan Perekonomian sebagai salah satu dari tiga RUU omnibus—selain RUU Cipta Kerja dan RUU Ibu Kota Negara—yang diajukan pemerintah ke dalam Program Legislasi Nasional (Prolegnas) Prioritas Tahun 2020.

Karakter omnibus yang problematik

Sejak pemerintah menentukan bahwa RUU Cipta Kerja disusun dengan metode omnibus, para akademisi telah mengidentifikasi sejumlah pelanggaran prosedur yang akan terjadi dalam proses pembentukan RUU itu. Sebagai sebuah metode pembentukan peraturan, omnibus tidak dikenal di dalam sistem legislasi Indonesia sebagaimana yang diatur dalam UU No. 12 Tahun 2011 tentang Pembentukan Perundang-undangan. Di negara dengan tradisi common law,seperti Amerika Serikat dan Australia, undang-undang omnibus lazim digunakan untuk mengatur berbagai persoalan multisektor dan mengamendemen berbagai undang-undang lain secara sekaligus.

Menurut Massicotte (2013), pembentukan RUU dengan teknik omnibus menguntungkan bagi pemerintah sebagai pengusul karena waktu pembahasannya di parlemen lebih singkat jika dibandingkan dengan proses pembahasan secara terpisah-pisah atas sejumlah undang-undang berbeda. Di sisi lain, karakter RUU omnibus yang rumit, kompleks, dan secara fisik lebih tebal daripada RUU biasa, dianggap menyulitkan pihak oposisi untuk melakukan analisis dan melancarkan kritik atasnya. Apabila diberlakukan, undang-undang omnibus juga sulit dipahami oleh masyarakat umum. Padahal, peraturan yang baik adalah peraturan yang dirumuskan dalam bahasa dan format yang sederhana agar mudah dipahami oleh semua orang.

Lebih dari 40 negara bagian di Amerika Serikat bahkan melarang penggunaan metode omnibus dalam penyusunan RUU karena dianggap dapat membuka peluang masuknya pasal titipan yang menguntungkan pihak tertentu secara tidak transparan. Konstitusi California misalnya, menentukan bahwa sebuah undang-undang hanya boleh mengatur tentang satu topik tertentu—ketentuan yang sering disebut sebagai single subject rule.

Sementara di negara bagian Quebec, Kanada, pengaturan mengenai pembahasan RUU omnibus diatur secara khusus dalam tata tertib parlemennya. Hal yang sangat berbeda terjadi di Indonesia: pemerintah menyusun RUU omnibus meskipun tidak ada dasar legitimasi yang memungkinkan metode itu diterapkan, sementara DPR membahas RUU itu tanpa memiliki pedoman yang memadai tentang cara pembahasan RUU omnibus.

Preseden buruk omnibus dan perbaikan ke depan

Pemerintah mengklaim metode penyusunan undang-undang dengan omnibus dapat mengurangi jumlah regulasi yang terlalu banyak—meskipun pada kenyataannya belum tentu demikian mengingat RUU Cipta Kerja mendelegasikan ratusan materi untuk diatur lebih lanjut dalam puluhan peraturan pelaksana. Namun, menggunakan metode omnibus sebagai strategi untuk membenahi kompleksitas problem regulasi adalah langkah keliru.

Persoalan regulasi di Indonesia bukan hanya soal jumlah, atau yang biasa disebut “hiper-regulasi”. Kajian Pusat Studi Hukum dan Kebijakan indonesia bersama Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional (Bappenas) tahun 2019 menemukan, kondisi hiper-regulasi hanya merupakan gejala di permukaan, sementara akar permasalahan yang menyebabkan semrawutnya regulasi di Indonesia, antara lain, adalah tidak sinkronnya perencanaan legislasi dengan perencanaan pembangunan, absennya mekanisme pemantauan dan peninjauan regulasi dalam siklus legislasi, dan tidak adanya otoritas khusus yang menangani persoalan manajemen regulasi.

Preseden RUU Cipta Kerja yang dibentuk dengan omnibus memberikan nama buruk bagi metode itu di mata publik. DPR harus melakukan evaluasi atas penggunaan metode itu. Jika ingin mengaturnya, perubahan menyeluruh atas UU No. 12 Tahun 2011 tentang Pembentukan Perundang-undangan harus segera dilakukan.

Sepanjang teknik omnibus belum memiliki dasar pengaturan yang jelas, pemerintah dan DPR sebaiknya tidak menggunakan metode itu dalam pembentukan regulasi ke depan. Selain ketiadaan dasar hukum, karakteristik omnibus yang dikhawatirkan oleh para akademisi sejak awal—seperti proses pembahasan yang terburu-buru dan mengabaikan partisipasi pemangku kepentingan—pun terbukti.

Langkah selanjutnya: uji formil

RUU Cipta Kerja telah disetujui oleh DPR bersama presiden. Kini, tinggal menunggu pengesahan oleh Presiden Jokowi dalam jangka waktu 30 hari sejak tanggal persetujuan. Pasal 20 ayat (5) UUD 1945 menentukan bahwa apabila dalam batas waktu itu presiden tidak menandatangani RUU yang sudah disetujui di DPR, RUU tersebut tetap sah menjadi Undang-Undang sehingga dapat langsung diberi nomor dan diterbitkan dalam Lembaran Negara.

Langkah tidak menandatangani RUU yang sudah disetujui pernah dilakukan oleh Presiden Jokowi terhadap revisi UU No. 30 Tahun 2002 tentang Komisi Pemberantasan Tindak Pidana Korupsi (UU KPK) tahun lalu. Saat itu penolakan masyarakat terhadap revisi tersebut sangat kuat, dan Presiden Jokowi mengambil langkah politik itu seakan-akan menunjukkan keberpihakannya pada keberatan masyarakat. Padahal, langkah itu sama sekali tidak memiliki dampak hukum terhadap keberlakuan revisi UU KPK.

Sama seperti RUU Cipta Kerja, revisi UU KPK tahun lalu juga diajukan oleh pemerintah, sehingga sulit menerima logika bahwa presiden akan menolak undang-undang usulannya sendiri. Seandainya Presiden Jokowi pada akhirnya tidak menandatangani RUU Cipta Kerja, hal itu dapat dilihat sebagai sebuah manuver politik untuk merespons tekanan publik, tetapi tidak berdampak hukum terhadap keberlakuan UU Cipta Kerja.

Logika yang sama dapat pula digunakan untuk melihat opsi penerbitan peraturan pemerintah pengganti undang-undang (Perppu) untuk mencabut atau menunda pelaksanaan UU Cipta Kerja. Meskipun jalur itu disediakan oleh konstitusi sebagai instrumen yang dapat digunakan oleh presiden dalam situasi kegentingan yang memaksa, tetapi publik telah memahami bahwa subjektivitas presiden justru mengingingkan UU Cipta Kerja diberlakukan sesegera mungkin.

Dengan demikian, upaya hukum tersisa yang dapat dilakukan oleh publik adalah mengajukan permohonan pengujian undang-undang (judicial review) ke Mahkamah Konstitusi. Selain pengujian secara materiil atas pasal-pasal dalam UU Cipta Kerja yang dianggap bertentangan dengan konstitusi, pengujian secara formil terhadap keabsahan proses pembentukan undang-undang juga sangat relevan menimbang begitu banyak prosedur yang dilanggar.

Sebagaimana diatur dalam Pasal 57 ayat (2) UU No. 24 Tahun 2003 tentang Mahkamah Konstitusi dan Pasal 36 huruf c Peraturan Mahkamah Konstitusi No. 06/PMK/2005 tentang Pedoman Beracara dalam Perkara Pengujian Undang-Undang, jika uji formil dikabulkan, maka UU Cipta Kerja kehilangan kekuatan hukumnya.

Meskipun belum sekali pun Mahkamah Konstitusi mengabulkan permohonan uji formil atas suatu undang-undang, langkah itu layak ditempuh setidaknya untuk memastikan ketegasan sikap perlawanan masyarakat terhadap kepentingan sesaat pemilik modal yang—ironisnya—diwakili oleh pemerintah dan DPR.

*) Rizky Argama (Peneliti Pusat Studi Hukum dan Kebijakan Indonesia, Pengajar Sekolah Tinggi Hukum Indonesia Jentera)

***

Baca artikel asli di Hukumonline.com

Major procedural flaws mar the omnibus law

On Monday, the House of Representatives (DPR) and the government agreed to pass the omnibus bill on job creation into law. This statute was first proposed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo about a year ago, on 20 October 2019, when he was sworn in to serve his second term in office.

The bill’s deliberation process took less than six months since it was first discussed in the legislature on 14 April. This is a very short time to discuss an enormous bill that amends 79 existing laws, especially in the midst of the poorly handled Covid-19 pandemic, which should be legislators’ priority.

Academicslabour unions and civil society groups working on environmental and human rights issues have criticised the bill for provisions that endanger environmental sustainability and indigenous peoples’ and workers’ rights. Given this, it is of deep concern that the process by which the bill became law was deeply flawed procedurally, in at least four ways.

Four major flaws

First, the government neglected to allow participation of key stakeholders in the drafting process. The job creation bill was drafted at the end of 2019 under the coordination of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs. The government claimed that the bill would create new jobs and improve workers’ welfare. But many key affected groups – such as labour unions – were never invited to give their views.

It was also difficult for the public to obtain the official version of the draft bill. Instead of providing a publicly available draft, the government claimed that the version widely circulated through social media was incorrect, or a “hoax”.

This lack of transparency is clearly contrary to the principle of openness and the obligation to encourage public participation in Articles 5 and 96 of Law No. 12 of 2011 on Lawmaking.

Second, the DPR skipped a crucial stage in the deliberation process. The Legislative Council (Badan Legislasi), a DPR body of 80 legislators from nine political parties, was responsible for the deliberation process. According to Article 155(1) of the DPR Standing Orders, all matters on the bill’s list of concerns (Daftar Inventarisasi Masalah, or DIM) must be discussed at a Legislative Council meeting. But the Legislative Council instead quickly formed a working committee and delegated discussion of the DIM to it, without ever raising the issues at a Legislative Council meeting. This further undermined the principle of participation, as not all political factions were represented on the working committee.

Third, the DPR conducted discussion sessions during its recess period. Although this is not prohibited, Article 1(13) and Article 239(2) of the DPR Standing Orders stipulate that the recess should be used by lawmakers to visit their constituencies.

The DPR argued that it hastened the deliberation process because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But if Covid-19 was really such a concern, why was the legislature not prioritising its duty to oversee government policies to respond to Covid-19, instead of discussing a bill with little relation to the public health emergency that has hit Indonesia so hard?

Fourth, the DPR and government added a raft of provisions that were never discussed in the draft bill. Three laws on taxation were consolidated in the final draft brought to the plenary session on Monday: the 2007 Law on General Provisions of Taxation; the 2008 Income Tax Law; and the 2009 Law on Goods and Services Value Added Tax and Luxury Goods Sales Tax.

This happened even though the legislative dossiers accessible to the public show that these three laws were never discussed during the deliberation process from April to late September. In fact, at the beginning of the year, the government proposed a quite separate omnibus bill on taxation as one of three omnibus bills (the other two were the job creation bill and the bill on the national capital). Instead of allowing a proper debate about major tax reform, the government simply folded the tax laws into the job creation bill at the last moment.

Why omnibus bills are problematic

In countries with common law systems, omnibus laws are commonly used to regulate multi-sectoral issues and amend many laws at once. But omnibus laws are not recognised as a method of lawmaking in the Indonesian legislative system, and for good reason. From the time that the government announced that the job creation bill would be drafted in omnibus form, academics raised the alarm about the potential for procedural violations in the drafting process.

Governments (as initiators of omnibus bills) like omnibus bills because they can reduce the deliberation process in the legislature, compared to the lengthy deliberation process required for a number of different laws. Their size can complicate opposition in the legislature, making detailed analysis and criticism more difficult, as was the case with this bill.

In fact, more than 40 states in the United States now prohibit the use of omnibus bills in the lawmaking process, precisely to prevent vested interests inserting unrelated provisions, just as happened with this bill.

Another problem is that omnibus laws rarely fulfil their supporters’ claim that they simplify the legislative process. The government certainly claims that the Law on Job Creation will simplify Indonesia’s complicated regulatory landscape by reducing the number of existing laws. But this hardly seems likely given that the Job Creation Law mandates hundreds of provisions to be further regulated by dozens of subordinate regulations that are yet to be issued.

The Indonesian Centre for Law and Policy Studies (PSHK) and the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) found that this sort of hyper-regulation is just the tip of the iceberg of Indonesia’s legal chaos. Related causes include the incompatibility of legislative planning with development planning, the absence of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in the legislative cycle, and the absence of single authority to handle regulatory management issues.

The job creation bill has given the omnibus method a bad name in Indonesia, just as in many other countries. The concerns that academics had from the beginning — such as the limited time allocated for deliberation and poor stakeholder participation — have all been borne out.

What now?

The next stage for the bill will be its authorisation by Jokowi. He can refuse to do so, but according to Article 20(5) of the 1945 Constitution, if the president does not sign the bill within 30 days from the date of its approval in the DPR, it will still be automatically enacted as a valid law.

In fact, Jokowi used the tactic of not signing last year, when he declined to sign the amended Law Number 30 of 2002 on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). In the face of massive public protests, Jokowi did not sign the bill in order give the impression he sided with public objections. But this had no legal impact, and the revised law was enacted anyway.

As with the job creation bill, the revisions to the 2002 KPK Law were also proposed by the government, so the notion that the president would seriously try to stop legislation he had proposed defies logic. If Jokowi does not sign the job creation bill, it will be a meaningless gesture, nothing more than a political manoeuvre designed to deflect public pressure. It will have no impact at all on the enactment of the Job Creation Law.

The only constitutional avenue left is to challenge the law at the Constitutional Court. When this happens, as inevitably it will, the Constitutional Court must review not only the Law’s content provisions for compatibility with the Constitution, but also the legislative making process (uji formil). This is highly relevant given the closed-door drafting and deliberation processes and the other procedural violations described above.

Although the Constitutional Court has never before granted a petition for judicial review of the legislative making procedure, this step is still worth taking. At the very least it will serve to emphasise the growing chasm between the interests of the people and those who supposedly represent them in the legislature, but now seem far more concerned about the interests of big business.

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Rizky Argama is a researcher at the Indonesian Centre for Law and Policy Studies (PSHK) and a lecturer at the Indonesia Jentera School of Law (STH Indonesia Jentera). He holds a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne.

This article was originally published on Indonesia at Melbourne. Read the original article.

The 2020 Prolegnas: here we go again

The House of Representatives (DPR) published in January its list of priority bills (National Legislative Program, Prolegnas) for 2020.

It says it plans to deliberate 54 bills in this year’s legislative sitting period, and they include four worrying: “carry-over bills” from the previous DPR term (2014-2019): the revised criminal code bill (RKUHP or RUU KUHP), amendments to the 1995 Law on Corrections, amendments to the 2009 Law on Mineral and Coal Mining, and amendments to the 1985 Law on Customs and Duty.

Deliberations on three of these carry-over bills were halted after massive student rallies in September 2019. Students criticised the bill on corrections because it would have softened parole requirements for corruption convicts. They rejected the mining bill for being too pro-company and neglecting the rights of mining-affected communities. But arguably the loudest student and civil society protests related to the criminal code bill, which threatens basic rights, such as freedom of expression, while weakening law enforcement against human rights violations and corruption.

Although the DPR claimed debate on these bills was concluded in the last DPR term, their carry-over into the new term will provide new opportunities to listen to and accommodate stakeholders’ criticisms before passing the controversial bills into law. It is vital that the DPR does so.

One of the main reasons protests were so heated in 2019 was the fact that deliberation on these bills was done with only very limited opportunities for contributions from civil society and the public. In the case of the RKUHP, for example, a number of its provisions were closely related to public health, corrections and development planning, but no civil society groups, practitioners or academics working in these sectors were ever consulted.(link is external)

The public has the right to participate in all stages of legislative drafting, especially in the planning and deliberation phases. Article 96 of Law No. 12 of 2011 on Lawmaking states that to facilitate the public’s right to participate in the lawmaking process, all draft bills should be made open and accessible. At the very least, the DPR must update its website to disseminate all bills listed on the Prolegnas(link is external).

It is significant that the government only designated four bills as carry-over bills, even though several others, including the anti-sexual violence bill, were discussed in the previous term. Because the anti-sexual violence bill has not been included in the carry-over list,(link is external) legislators will have to re-start the deliberation process from the beginning, meaning the chances of it being passed this year are slim.

Another very contentious bill listed on the priority list is the cybersecurity bill. Several provisions of the bill potentially violate the right to privacy and freedom of expression(link is external). Some analysts have even expressed fears that the bill will provide the State Cyber and Cryptography Agency (BSSN) with sweeping powers(link is external) that could rival the State Intelligence Agency (BIN).

In terms of quantity, the target of 54 bills is unrealistic. Over the last five years, the DPR and government have only been able to pass an average of 15 to 16 bills each year. During this time, they also prepared targets of between 40 to 55 priority bills each year. The fact that the problem has been the same every year shows that neither the DPR nor the government think there is anything wrong(link is external). Given that the DPR never manages to reach even 50 per cent of its target, it is no surprise that the public considers the DPR and government’s performance in producing laws to be poor.

In addition to the annual target, the Prolegnas also includes a long list that the DPR and government aim to pass over the five-year term. The DPR and government have also put 248 bills(link is external) on their long list, on top of the 54 bills listed for this year. The Indonesian Centre for Law and Policy Studies (PSHK) has noted that over the last three terms, the DPR and government have continually set unrealistic targets for the long list, just as they do for the annual list.

In fact, the Prolegnas is really just a wish list for the DPR and government (as well as the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), which also has the right to propose bills), rather than a serious plan. Any progress at all towards their targets is considered success.

This needs to change. The Prolegnas needs to become what it was intended to be: a document used to direct and manage the legislature.

At the beginning of each legislative term, the government, DPR and DPD should discuss plans for legislative reform over the next five years. According to Article 95A of Law No. 12 of 2011 (as revised in 2019)(link is external), the DPR, DPD and government should evaluate the efficacy of existing laws, and use this evaluation to plan the next Prolegnas. This would help ensure that the proposed bills on the Prolegnas are truly derived from the consensus of the three institutions and are based on the actual needs of the public. It will also discourage the DPR and government from setting ambitious and unachievable targets.

The lack of considered planning is evident in the poor quality of bills on the 2020 Prolegnas. Several bills potentially contradict each other or conflict with existing regulations. The divisive bill on family resilience(link is external) (RUU Ketahanan Keluarga), for example, contradicts provisions in the anti-sexual violence bill,(link is external) not to mention other human rights and constitutional provisions. The family resilience bill introduces seriously questionable provisions that would discriminate against women and sexual and gender minorities,(link is external) while the anti-sexual violence bill aims to achieve more or less the opposite, and protect all Indonesians (no matter their gender or sexual orientation) from violent acts.

There are several other bills of questionable urgency. The proposed bill on protection of religious leaders and religious symbols(link is external) is one such bill. The protection of citizens (of all professions) is already covered by existing laws, such as the Criminal Code (KUHP) and Law No. 39 of 1999 on Human Rights.

Another case is the proposed amendments to the 2013 Law on Medical Education. The 2013 law should have never been passed in the first place, given that there is another law regulating this topic, the 2012 Law on Higher Education. Medical education could have been sufficiently regulated by subordinate regulation under the 2012 Law, using for example, a government regulation (peraturan pemerintah), presidential regulation (peraturan presiden), or ministerial regulation (peraturan menteri), in line with the provisions of Law No. 12 of 2011 on Lawmaking(link is external).

Another major controversial element of this year’s list of priority bills is the four “omnibus” bills. Of the four, the bills on job creation, taxation and the national capital were initiated by the government, while the bill on pharmaceuticals was proposed by DPR. The job creation bill(link is external) has attracted the most public and media attention over the past month. Academics and civil society organisations have complained that the drafting process was carried out by the government behind closed doors(link is external). The only stakeholders involved were representatives of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce(link is external). But as an “omnibus” bill, it affects many sectors, such as labour, land and environment, media and more. Many more stakeholders should have been involved in the drafting process – trade unions and journalists, for example.

In addition to this opaque drafting process, several provisions also have the potential to reduce public rights and threaten environmental sustainability. In the circulated draft bill, there are provisions that weaken environmental impact analysis (AMDAL)(link is external) requirements from law to subordinate regulations. The bill certainly seems to de-emphasise public participation from something that should be clearly regulated in the relevant law to merely an administrative issue covered by subordinate regulations.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has emphasised that these omnibus bills were intended to revise a number of laws at once in a short time. At the annual meeting of the financial services industry in January, Jokowi even stated that he would appreciate it if the DPR could complete the discussion of the job creation and taxation omnibus bills within 100 days(link is external).

Ominously, he also instructed the National Police chief, the head of BIN and the Attorney General to “approach and communicate” with “organisations”(link is external) who criticised the government’s plan for the omnibus bills. He did not specify which organisations he had in mind. But trade unions, civil society organisations and academics have been the omnibus bills’ fiercest critics.

Policymaking in the 2019-2024 legislative period is still at a very early stage. But there are already major problems that need to be addressed as soon as possible, both on the government and DPR sides.

The DPR has to conduct an evaluation of the Prolegnas at the end of this year. It should use this opportunity to more realistically map and identify which bills are the most pressing and realistic to be deliberated during next year and the rest of the 2020-2024 term. In the future, the DPR needs to completely reconstruct its Prolegnas planning process, so that the Prolegnas is not just a wish list, but a set of practical, achievable guidelines for legislative policy reform.

As discussions on the omnibus bills heat up, the DPR must also conduct deliberations transparently and ensure that all important stakeholders—especially the most affected groups—are involved. The DPR should not repeat the mistakes of the government in conducting the drafting process behind closed doors.

While this notion might seem foreign to Jokowi,(link is external) it is, in fact, quite possible to pay attention to infrastructure development, human resource development, protection of human rights and environmental preservation at the same time.

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Rizky Argama is a researcher at the Indonesian Centre for Law and Policy Studies (PSHK) and a lecturer at the Indonesia Jentera School of Law (STH Indonesia Jentera). He holds a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne.

This article was originally published on Indonesia at Melbourne. Read the original article.