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The Legal Nature of Pancasila

“Justice without might is helpless; Might without justice is tyrannical “ (Blaise Pascal, 1941)

The reform wheel that was turned 19 years ago has still not shown the transformation of nation and state life into a better direction, except ensuring freedom in various aspects. This is very demonstrative and visibly shown by various sad phenomena. For example, the hardships of the lives of small people who remain miserable, the sense of justice trampled by the legal apparatus itself that devastates public confidence in the law, the overwhelming mastery of national resources by foreign parties, the practice of corruption is increasingly prevalent and seen at all levels of government, Political parties are increasingly pragmatic, dysfunctional, and disorientated, intellectuals tear their own dignity by “mortgaging” their crucial idealism,

Het volks is redeloos, de regering is radeloos, het land is reddeloos (the people lose their sense of health, the government loses its mind, the state loses hope). Recalling this Dutch saying from the eighteenth century seems to be relevant in the current era of reform, which pictures our people and governments being plagued by the loss of reason and hope.


The Nature of Law

The values ​​of Pancasila as already stated in the Ketetapan MPRS/The People’s Representative Assembly decree No. XX / MPR / 1966, is essentially a way of life, consciousness, and legal ideals and noble moral ideals which include a psychological atmosphere, as well as the character of the Indonesian nation. Judging from his position, Pancasila as the highest legal source in the formation of national law, means it serves as a measurement for evaluating the established laws. Why does Pancasila qualify as a source of primary law in the life of the state and the nation? Because the principles of Pancasila explicitly mention the word ‘Justice’ in the second principle and ‘justice’ in the fifth principle. Therefore, the legal nature of Pancasila is justice which is identical with the core of Indonesian people’s way of life namely the belief in one supreme God.

The Pancasila legal character that stands out is Nurturing. Its implementation in the law order is characterized by being responsive to the development and aspirations of the community’s expectations. In other words, the law is intended to create humane social conditions, thus enabling social processes take place naturally. Thus, in a fair world every man obtains ample opportunity to develop all potential (phisycally and spiritually) of humanity as a whole. Through and with the law, the individuals or community can live and a decent and dignified life.

More specifically concerning the true peace will be realized while every citizen can feel both inner and outer peace.  The peace itself will be obtained when members of the society are sure that  their survival and activity do not rely and are not based on “the kindness” of the rulers who wish something (insincere). In addition, as long as it is not violating the rights and others, where a citizen can freely carry out what he believes to be the truth, can it be treated fairly, humanely, justly and in civilized ways even when they make mistakes.

As a Law-abiding country, there should be a judiciary institution which is independent from the intervention of other state institution, guaranteed the quality and integrity of judges, guaranteeing Human Rights. The 1945 Constitution serves as a benchmark in state administration, the legal guarantees which provide nurturing and protection for all citizens equally, guaranteeing the realization of clean, honest, and just governance,.



The Pancasila philosophy of life is formulated in the unity of five principles that each reveal fundamental values as well as becoming the five operational principles in living our life, including the implementation of state activities and the development of practical law. According to Prof. Mochtar Kusumaatdja, Pancasila serves as the base value which forms the basis of reference for achieving or defending something, as well as good values  that is worth fighting for and realizing.

The purpose of law based on the legal ideals of Pancasila means realizing the nurturing of humans, by passively protecting through the prevention of arbitrary actions by the rulers; and actively creating humane conditions that allow the human social process to take place naturally, thus, fairly allow every human to receive comprehensive and equal opportunities to develop the full potential of his/her humanity as a whole.

It is an inevitability that this country will be independent, advanced, and prosperous when the moral of the leaders are good, as well as the law in effect is based on the values of civility. So, the religion-based morality is the main pillar in the community development with dignity and the upholding of the faith. It has also been pronounced bluntly by the founding fathers that although the law was formulated in a relatively simple and incomplete regulation of the holistic governance, but if the spirit (morality, integrity, competence) of the organizers (actor / actors) is good, then the governance will run smoothly. So, the most important thing is the morality, noble character and intelligence of the leaders as the main pillars.
Source: Pikiran Rakyat (Wednesday, May 31, 2017)