Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)


Retributive Justice Theory and the Application of the Principle of Sentencing Proportionality in Indonesia

Author(s): Yuliandri, Gusti Ayu Ketut Rachmi Handayani, Teguh Prasetyo, Ketut Seregig, Hilaire Tegnan

This study discusses the application of the principle of proportionality in criminal sentencing. It argues that there is a significant sentencing disparity within the Indonesian criminal justice system, which contributes to the deterioration of both the law enforcement and the judiciary. Within the Indonesian justice system, many verdicts related to corruption cases are reached that are deemed disproportionate by either party to a case in particular and the public in general. Ordinary people who commit petty, non-violent crimes get heavy punishments while political elites, government officials, business tycoons and other high profile criminals who commit serious felonies receive a slap on the wrist. Such a justice system is often referred to as a two-tiered justice system. This is an empirical research that seeks to address the question as to what extent the principle of proportionality can help judges reach a rather proportionate and just verdict in criminal cases. This study reveals that judges pronounce different verdicts for identical criminal cases. They seem to ignore the principle of proportionality to only focus on the principle of legality, legal certainty and personal gains.

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