I asked why the law is written in a certain way.

For example in here, What is the age of consent in Indonesia? 15 or 18?

I asked whether age of consent in Indonesia is 15 or 18. It seems to be ambiguous because the law doesn't prohibit lewd acts with underage children but prohibit persuading 17 years old to do lewd acts. If the government intent to prohibit all lewd acts with anyone under 18, this seems to be writeable in much simpler ways.

However there are many samples.

For example, the no fault divorce in US, for example. The law doesn't say you can divorce your spouse for any reason and no fault is necessary. No. The law says that one reason you can divorce is lack of compatibility. The lack of compatibility effectively means no fault divorce. I read in wikipedia, but can't find it anymore, that the court won't bother to examine where irreconcilable are

https://mensrightsdivorcelaw.com/blog/irreconcilable-differences/#:~:text=What%20are%20Irreconcilable%20Differences%3F,other%20issues%20in%20the%20marriage.lies. The laws

Another weird laws are in narcotic laws in Indonesia. It says that a "victim" of narcotic are those that are threatened, tricked, ..., persuaded to use narcotic. Again, the non consensual terms are mixed with consensual word. As if they try to make it look like they are protecting people against non consensual coercion but somehow include consensual persuasion too.

So why the laws have to be written in unnecessarily complex ways when simpler words would do? It's as if the legislators deliberately obfuscate laws. Do they?

Should this be in politic stackexchange or in here?

1 Answer 1


There are two versions of the "why is the law written this way" question. One of them is literally about the use of language and legal drafting principles. Such questions are on topic. The other is about justifying the content of the law, and such questions tend to be off topic as being about politics, although there is broad disagreement over many of those questions. There are often reasons for laws being the way they are, and especially in the domain of legal interpretation, many people (justices, for example) consider it to be valid to ask why a law exists, in order to understand what the law actually says.

I do not believe that a question about the history of Indonesian law can be answered here, at least not until some members of the bar in Indonesia start inhabiting this site. Please bear in mind that the laws of Indonesia are written in Bahasa Indonesia and most of us are not competent to agree or disagree with your assessment that the law is "confusing". I find the whole "Every one who ... is subject to penalty" construction to be confusing, because we don't write that way in the US.

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