Helping Accident Victims Mandatory in LLAJ Law

The Court rejecting the petition against the Criminal Code (KUHP) and the LLAJ Law for case No. 114/PUU-XXI/2023, Wednesday (11/29/2023). Photo by MKRI/Fauzan.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The Constitutional Court (MK) rejected the entire material judicial review petition of Article 531 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) and Article 312 of Law No. 22 of 2009 on Road Traffic and Land Transportation (LLAJ). The ruling hearing for Decision No. 114/PUU-XXI/2023 was held in the plenary courtroom on Wednesday, 29, 2023.

In the Court’s legal opinion, delivered by Constitutional Justice M. Guntur Hamzah, the Court was of the opinion that the phrase “which he/she is capable to extend or provide assistance without reasonably putting himself/herself or others in danger” is not in the actual norm. It should be “does not provide assistance that he/she is capable to provide without undue danger to himself/herself or others.”

Based on this legal fact, Justice Guntur argued, the Court considered the Petitioner had not carefully cited Article 531 of the Criminal Code petitioned for review. Thus, it was uncertain which phrase was un constitutional. However, the Court can understand the Petitioner’s intention, so that if the phrase was eliminated, it would actually change the interpretation. This means that anyone who sees someone who is facing death will be punished. If the person who is facing death dies, anyone who sees it is subject to a fine or imprisonment.

In the Court’s view, Article 531 of the Criminal Code has provided an essential, fundamental interpretation based on humanity, thus the urgency of assistance in that norm is conditio sine qua non. When related to the good Samaritan law, it focuses on a person who is in/is in mortal danger, who within logical reasoning is in need for help. Meanwhile, the legal construction of Article 531 of the Criminal Code is more impressive than the good Samaritan law in interpreting help for someone who is in need of help because they are facing mortal danger or deadly physical threats.

“The threat of criminal sanctions and the impressive nature of the assistance provided as stipulated in Article 531 of the KUHP is a manifestation of the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence, which prioritize overcoming danger and not committing acts that harm themselves and others,” said Justice Guntur.

Providing Assistance Is Mandatory

The Court believes if the phrase “without a reason” in Article 312 of the LLAJ Law, which the Petitioner challenged, was negated, it would oblige every person driving a motor vehicle involved in a traffic accident to provide assistance to accident victims. If the phrase was omitted, it could mean that any person who does not their vehicle, does not provide assistance, or does not report a traffic accident to the nearest police when they are involved in an accident would be punished regardless of the reason why they do not provide assistance or report the accident.

The Court believes that the phrase “without reason” in the norm has substantial legal implications. Knowing the person’s reason is within the context of implementing traffic and criminal laws. Thus, there is no constitutionality issue regarding of the phrase “without reason.” On the contrary, the phrase is a vital component in comprehending Article 321 of the LLAJ Law. Therefore, the Court declared the Petitioner’s argument legally groundless.

Also read:

Petitioner Fears Criminalization of Rescuers of Accident Victims

Petitioner Argues Helping Accident Victims a Voluntary Act

At the preliminary hearing on Monday, October 2, Leonardo Olefins Hamonangan argued that Article 531 of the Criminal Code confirms that a person who assists victims of an accident can be criminalized if they endanger the victims and other people. Therefore, such as norm does not give appreciation of the conscientious action of a person who helps accident victims or excludes spontaneous liabilities arising from the act of caring to help others who need help.

The Petitioner also argued that Article 312 of the LLAJ Law mean that a person is not given the opportunity to provide an explanation for not reporting immediately to the Police if they are at the scene of an accident and witnesses an accident. “So, Article 531 of the Criminal Code, where helping accident victims can be subject to criminal charges, is in line with the phrase ‘without a proper reason’ in Article 312 of the LLAJ Law. So, if someone sees an accident victim but does not report it, they can also be criminalized,” explained the Petitioner, who attended the hearing online.

Author       : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : M. Halim
Translator  : Nyi Mas Laras Nur Inten Kemalasari/Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023 | 15:41 WIB 57
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