For Whom The Omnibus Law?


By Cecep Darmawan (Professor of Political Science and Head of the LPPM Public Policy Center Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia)

In addition to the issue of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), currently, the public is being enlivened by the controversy of the Cipta Kerja omnibus law bill drafted by the Governments of President Jokowi and Ma’ruf Amin. Apart from the substantial discourse, the Omnibus Law on Employment Copyright is considered in addition to having weaknesses such as the impression of executive dominance and tends to change the practice of establishing legislation. Including being a solution for conflict resolution between legislative regulations invitations, in addition to solutions to regulatory inconsistencies.

The party that is pro against the omnibus law has the view that amid global economic competition, the government must accelerate the process of economic development to become the top five powers of the world economy in 2045. One of the government’s efforts is to create regulations that are friendly to investment and can accelerate the pace of the development process. However, real conditions on the field are often hampered by regulatory problems that are seen as hampering investment. On this basis, the government wants to cut this pathway through deregulation and de bureaucracy policies. Concretely, the government wants to carry out legal reform through the omnibus law bill to facilitate and establish an investment climate that is friendly for investors for the welfare of the people.

This omnibus law issue arose during the President’s inauguration speech which stated that the government would issue two major laws namely the Employment Copyright Act and the UMKM Empowerment Act. Conceptually, omnibus law is a term that is applied in countries that have a common law system such as the United States. Meanwhile, the Indonesian state itself adheres to the civil law system, so the term omnibus law is relatively foreign in the Indonesian state legal system. The formation of a legal product in Indonesia itself refers to Law Number 12 of 2011 concerning the Formation of Regulations and Regulations as amended by Law Number 15 of 2019. In this law, there is no mention or no recognition of the term umbrella law or omnibus law. For this reason, formally the process of forming the omnibus law bill is still considered as a need for completion in the path of forming the legislation.

The omnibus law itself is a legal product that seeks to make laws that can revoke or amend several laws at once. Materially, the philosophical foundation of the omnibus law bill itself has a good goal of harmonizing inconsistent rules, simplifying regulations, facilitating investment, and increasing economic growth for the welfare of society. The intention of the government in the omnibus law bill itself is good, namely to carry out its obligations to improve the welfare of the people as mandated by the constitution. However, the government should pay attention to various regulatory substances related to authority in the context of regional autonomy, ethics and environmental carrying capacity, labor rights, and others highlighted by various parties in reviewing this omnibus law bill.

The controversy among the people certainly needs to be responded positively by the government and the House of Representatives so that this omnibus law bill can be a progressive regulation providing solutions for improving the economy and welfare of the nation without harming the political and economic rights of the people. For this reason, the authors encourage the formation of this law to involve massive public participation. This is important as an effort to legitimize law and politics in the concept of a democratic rule of law. Therefore, this process requires transparency and public accountability through intense dialogue spaces between the government, the Parliament, and various stakeholders. To realize this ideal, among others, first, in the formation of the omnibus law bill, we must comply with the various principles and formal stages of the formation of legislation as regulated in Law No. 12 of 2011 concerning Formation of Legislation. as amended by Law No. 15 of 2019. Besides that, the content of the omnibus law bill must pay attention to the equilibrium or balance of the rights and obligations of the people and the government, so that no public interest is eliminated in this omnibus law bill.

Second, in the process of establishing the omnibus law bill, the government and the DPR must be very open in the process of discussing the bill. Omnibus law bill makers must also open space for broad public participation in each stage of the formation of the omnibus law bill, involving various stakeholders, experts from various universities, and affected stakeholders such as workers, environmental activists, business actors, and local government. Do not let the discussion of the omnibus law bill only involve political elites and the government alone without public involvement.

Third, the founders of the omnibus law bill must also conduct socialization and education in providing various information disclosures related to each stage of the formation of the omnibus law bill. For example by disseminating academic texts and draft bills to be discussed as well as providing information disclosure on the development of the discussion and maybe also some changes in the bill.

Fourth, the makers of the omnibus law bill should also prioritize the legal and political process through formal and political legality in the formation of laws. This means that the bill must guarantee the protection of human rights, take sides with the people, pay attention to environmental preservation, prevent corruption, and eliminate stigmatization that this bill is only for the benefit of investors.

Fifth, initiating this bill as momentum for reformulation and legal reform through the omnibus law approach. Although it must be understood that the ultimate goal of this regulation is to make the people prosperous, not merely to have a single purpose, namely in the context of creating a friendly investment climate. Legislators must implement this approach comprehensively and progressively as a breakthrough in future legal reforms without crashing the available regulations. Thus, if various things are done, then there is an imperative and democratic legal effort. Omnibus law can be a legal product that functions as a means of social engineering as well as a means of national development for the welfare of the people. In other words, the omnibus law can also play a role as a progressive legal product as well as a means of renewal in society that can guide the creation of a just and equitable public welfare. (Translated by Muhammad Azka Muharam)

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