#340 They Say the Law is Not Creative

When I first got into law school, I had a dream of turning this country into a better place for its people. I graduated last February and the dream has been reduced into a hope that I could still contribute something for the country. Most people have been deceived by the notion that studying law means memorizing thousands of rules. They say, being a lawyer, you’re either a slave or a corruptor. Whatever you do, it will be fenced by the regulation and there will be no place for imagination.

Having been colonized by the Dutch for the supposedly three centuries, a lot of Indonesian laws were derived from the Dutch. Even now, the Netherland remains as the top choice for advance studies for Indonesian law students. I often think about the Netherland sometimes and wonder how on earth our law implementation could be so unalike between each other. Indonesia is infamous for its level of corruption, while the Netherland is considered as one of the cleanest countries in the world.

During my time in law school, we would be frustrated over the incoherence and overlapping of our own laws. If the law is rigid, you can’t move. If the law is flexible, you have no certainty of where you can move to. I was taught that people change. A nation changes. The law should be able to adjust to a social situation of a certain time. The Netherland reviews its laws every ten years. They adapt. For a nation who grabbed its own independence with its own hands, it’s ironic how Indonesia doesn’t seem to learn.

They say the law is strict, that there’s no fun in it. They say that to be a good lawyer, you only need an outstanding debating skill. I say, they should try making a law out of the facts of their lives. The Netherland is one of the few countries where it’s legal to marry anyone and consume a certain (supposedly) forbidden plant. Don’t you ever wonder how such laws could be passed when the rest of the world seemed to be unwilling to entertain the idea?

Being a law student, I learned that it was a tough job to listen to people and cater their needs in one single document of law. How can you rule a society with one sentence? How can you convince people to follow the rule in one sentence? How can you reduce everything to one sentence and yet that one sentence covers everything? Being a lawyer means you have to have the skill of a poet: concise and romantic. That simple. Unfortunately, most people lack the imagination to believe it. The Dutch believe it. Why can’t we?

-ditulis oleh Fallissa A. Putri

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