Law of Principal on Agrarian has been applicable for more than 60 years in Indonesia. As its name, the lawmakers from the beginning only intended to promulgate fundamental provisions on agrarian sector, mostly on land.
The Law remains intact. No formal amendment or replacement to date. But since the promulgation of Law on Job Creation in 2020, some of its aspects are expanded e.g., the concept of right of management, space above and beneath the land, land bank institution, abandonment of land and area, and electronic land-related documents. These expansion provisions do not directly amend nor replace the provisions of Law of Principal on Agrarian, but surely, they affect the concept already regulated in it. One example, the Law of Principal on Agrarian stipulates that the land that can be owned is only its surface. The space over and beneath the land can be used by the landowner, as necessary and as permitted by the official. But now, under Job Creation Law, the land right or right of management can be issued for these spaces. This is a new and an inevitable development on land laws and regulations.
Prior to Job Creation Law, draft of Land Law was also discussed and almost promulgated by the lawmakers. But due to various reasons, it was postponed. It is unclear whether or not it will be promulgated later on especially since some provisions planned to be regulated in the draft of Land Law have been stipulated in the Job Creation Law. But it is mandated by the Law of Principal on Agrarian itself that the right of ownership provisions must be stipulated under the law not regulations below the law. This is the law that has never been manifested since 1960.
The unofficial translation of this law has been ongoing for several years in our firm. The translation was commenced and finished by some lawyers and interns. It subsequently was reviewed and edited by the writer, but then stopped due to various reasons. The draft was just lying there but not yet edited further or published. The writer views that, despite the progress of the law in Indonesia, especially after Job Creation Law, understanding the concept of land laws in Indonesia is (still) crucial. The fundamental provisions of the law are intended to guide the lawmakers and the government when they issue or enact subsequent regulations to implement it. Those implementing regulations must surely conform to those fundamental provisions of the law. But due to many interests occurring in the State that are probably conflicting to each other, the modernization of the State, the change of lifestyle of the people and other various reasons, the consistency to ensure that those fundamental provisions are respected, might be overlooked.
Hence, we tried to present the translation of the Law of Principal on Agrarian as we understand it by using the most appropriate word for each word and maintaining the style of writing used in the law. We hope that this translated law will be useful for anyone that would like to know and understand the Law on Fundamental Provision of Principals on Agrarian.
Jakarta, 03 June 2021
Eddy M. Leks