Potential Overcriminalization in Religious Offenses: A Critical Analysis Of The Formulation Of The New National Criminal Code (Law 1 Number 2023)

Zico Junius Fernando, Sri Wulandari, Panca Sarjana Putra


Overcriminalization in the context of criminal law refers to the phenomenon where too many behaviors are defined as criminal offenses, which ultimately results in the expansion of law enforcement powers and an increase in the number of individuals caught up in the criminal justice system. This study examines overcriminalization in the formulation of religious offenses contained in Law Number 1, the Year 2023 on the Criminal Code (KUHP), focusing on Article 302 on incitement of a person to no religion or belief adopted in Indonesia and its impact on atheists or non-religious communities. The analysis highlights several important issues, such as the unclear definition of "inciting" in the article, its impact on freedom of speech, potential discrimination against minorities, and misuse of the law for political purposes. The research was conducted using a qualitative method, combining document studies, literature reviews, and analysis of relevant case law. The results show that Article 302 of the New National Criminal Code may lead to overcriminalization, as it regulates acts that can be considered part of freedom of expression and religion. This article can also be considered as limiting the right of individuals to choose their beliefs or religion, including the right not to have religious beliefs. In addition, this research highlights that this article is vulnerable to abuse by parties who have political interests or want to target specific groups. As a recommendation, this study suggests the need to reform the formulation of Article 302 of the National Criminal Code to reduce the impact of overcriminalization and protect human rights, such as freedom of speech.


overcriminalization; religious offenses; new criminal code; Indonesia

  Full Text:



Ali, Mahrus. “Overcriminalization Dalam Perundang-Undangan Di Indonesia.” Jurnal Hukum Ius Quia Iustum 25, no. 3 (2018): 450–71. https://doi.org/10.20885/iustum.vol25.iss3.art2.

Ariawan, I Gusti Ketut. “Metode Penelitian Hukum Normatif.” Kertha Widya 1, no. 1 (31 Desember 2013): 21–30. https://doi.org/10.37637/KW.V1I1.419.

Barda Nawawi Arief. Bunga Rampai Kebijakan Hukum Pidana. Bandung: Citra Aditya Bakti, 2005.

BBC News Indonesia. “Lina Mukherjee Divonis Dua Tahun Atas Penistaan Agama, Dinilai ‘Berlebihan’: ‘Itu Juga Dosa Dia, Bukan Dosa Kita.’” https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/, 2023. https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/articles/ckrk1rp9yrdo.

Bentele, Keith Gunnar, Rebecca Sager, Soule Sarah A., dan Adler Gary, Jr. “Breaking Down the Wall between Church and State: State Adoption of Religious Inclusion Legislation, 1995–2009.” Journal of Church and State 56, no. 3 (1 September 2014): 503–33. https://doi.org/10.1093/jcs/css145.

Bernadika, Shannon Rosemary, dan Maura Kavita. “Overkriminalisasi dan Ketidakadilan Gender: Norma Kesusilaan Sebagai Dasar Pembatasan Kebebasan Berpakaian Perempuan di Muka Umum.” Binamulia Hukum 10, no. 2 (2021): 133–49. https://doi.org/10.37893/jbh.v10i2.560.

Bielefeldt, Heiner. “Freedom of Religion or Belief-A Human Right under Pressure.” Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 1, no. 1 (1 April 2012): 15–35. https://doi.org/10.1093/ojlr/rwr018.

Carlos Fajar Kajarta. “Presiden Jokowi Resmi Teken UU KUHP, Mulai Berlaku pada 2026.” https://www.inews.id/, 2023.

Colbran, Nicola. “Realities and Challenges in Realising Freedom of Religion or Belief in Indonesia.” The International Journal of Human Rights 14, no. 5 (1 September 2010): 678–704. https://doi.org/10.1080/13642980903155166.

García-Guerrero, J., dan A. Marco. “Overcrowding in Prisons and its Impact on Health.” Revista española de sanidad penitenciaria 14, no. 3 (2012): 106–13. https://doi.org/10.4321/s1575-06202012000300006.

Husak, Douglas. Overcriminalization: The Limits of the Criminal Law. Overcriminalization: The Limits of the Criminal Law. Oxford University Press, 2007. https://doi.org/10.1093/ACPROF:OSO/9780195328714.001.0001.

Jack Holland. “Democracy and Human Rights.” In Selling War and Peace: Syria and the Anglosphere, diedit oleh Jack Holland, 1–146. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. https://doi.org/DOI: 10.1017/9781108774314.005.

Kadish, Sanford H. “The Crisis of Overcriminalization.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 374, no. 1 (1 November 1967): 157–70. https://doi.org/10.1177/000271626737400115.

Larkin, Paul J. “Public Choice Theory and Overcriminalization.” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 36, no. 715 (29 Juli 2013). https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2302913.

Lee, Youngjae. “Mala Prohibita, the Wrongfulness Constraint, and the Problem of Overcriminalization.” Law and Philosophy 41, no. 2 (2022): 375–96. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10982-022-09443-z.

McGravey, Kevin. “Digital Public Forums: Power and Representation in the Internet’s Public Squares.” New Political Science 42, no. 3 (2 Juli 2020): 253–71. https://doi.org/10.1080/07393148.2020.1807274.

McGuire, Kim, dan Michael Salter. “Legal Responses to Religious Hate Crime: Identifying Critical Issues.” King’s Law Journal 25, no. 2 (3 Oktober 2014): 159–84. https://doi.org/10.5235/09615768.25.2.159.

Nurbela, Aziz. “Urgensi Delik Agama Dalam Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana.” Jurnal Recidive 2, no. 3 (2013): 246–54.

Nuryanto, Carto, dan Central Java Police. “Criminal Sanctions and Actions in Religious Justice Crime Law Enforcement.” International Journal of Law Reconstruction 3, no. 2 (16 Januari 2020): 78–85. https://jurnal.unissula.ac.id/index.php/lawreconstruction/article/view/7793.

Online, Hukum. “Delik Agama dalam RUU KUHP, Overcriminalization!” https://www.hukumonline.com/berita/a/delik-agama-dalam-ruu-kuhp-iovercriminalizationi-hol15437?page=1, 2006. https://www.hukumonline.com/berita/a/delik-agama-dalam-ruu-kuhp-iovercriminalizationi-hol15437?page=1.

Ramsay, Peter. “Overcriminalization as Vulnerable Citizenship.” New Criminal Law Review 13, no. 2 (Maret 2010): 262–85. https://doi.org/10.1525/NCLR.2010.13.2.262/0.

Rossa Ilma Silfiah et al. “Phylosophical and Constitusional Protection.” Brawijaya Law Journal: Journal of Legal Studies 3, no. 2 (2015): 151–75. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21776/ub.blj.2016.003.02.04.

Rumadi Ahmad. “KUHP dan Kebebasan Beragama.” kompas.id, 2023. https://www.kompas.id/baca/opini/2023/01/04/kuhp-dan-kebebasan-beragama.

Sang, Yisi, Lizhen Liang, dan Jeffrey Stanton. “Content Moderation of Speech in Political Discussions.” Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology 58, no. 1 (1 Oktober 2021): 537–42. https://doi.org/10.1002/PRA2.493.

Schonthal, Benjamin, Tamir Moustafa, Matthew Nelson, dan Shylashri Shankar. “Is the Rule of Law an Antidote for Religious Tension? The Promise and Peril of Judicializing Religious Freedom.” American Behavioral Scientist 60, no. 8 (20 Oktober 2015): 966–86. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764215613380.

TAMBNAS. “Teori Hukum Lon L. Fuller: Fokus pada Konsep Keadilan.” www.tambnas.com/, 2023. https://www.tambnas.com/2023/04/teori-hukum-lon-l-fuller-fokus-pada.html.

Toelle, Marthen H. “Kriminalisasi Berlebih (Overcriminalization) Dalam Kriminalisasi Korupsi.” Refleksi Hukum: Jurnal Ilmu Hukum 9, no. 2 (2015): 113–32. https://doi.org/10.24246/jrh.2015.v9.i2.p113-132.

Zainal Abidin Bagir. “Agama dalam KUHP: Kemajuan Setengah Jalan.” crcs.ugm.ac.id, 2023. https://crcs.ugm.ac.id/agama-dalam-kuhp-kemajuan-setengah-jalan/.

Żelechowski, Łukasz. “Invoking Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Competition in Trade Mark Infringement Disputes: Legal Mechanisms for Striking a Balance.” ERA Forum 19, no. 1 (1 Agustus 2018): 115–35. https://doi.org/10.1007/S12027-018-0498-3/METRICS.

Zico Junius Fernando et al. “The Freedom of Expression in Indonesia.” Cogent Social Sciences 8, no. 1 (2022): 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2022.2103944.

  Article Metric

Abstract this article has been read : 206 times
PDF file viewed/downloaded : 110 times

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30641/ham.2023.14.205-216


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Zico Junius Fernando, Sri Wulandari, Panca Sarjana Putra

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Jurnal HAM Indexed by :


Complete list

Web Analytics

Jurnal HAM Statistics