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Houtman and Suryati [215-232]

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The History of Forensic Linguistics as an Assisting Tool in the Analysis of

Legal Terms
Houtman* and Suryati*

Abstract: One dimension of human life which become the issue and had been debated is about the
used of legal terms which is against the language rules. The use of language and law are often oriented
to non-substance issues, namely the used of formal legal terms which is inconsistent with the standard
of the Indonesian language. As a result, such a linguistic study does not provide a functional and pro-
portional impact in resolving the problems of the law itself. The study only becomes as an analysis
report on the forms of error in the use of language in the realm of law which is expected to be a feed-
back for improving the quality of the language of law enforcement officers. Accordingly, the empow-
erment of forensic linguistics as a tool to solve the legal problems becomes important and made a
choice in the field of science, especially in the universities. The various cases developing both in do-
mestic and foreign countries have absolutely proven beneficial for forensic linguistic analysis. A law-
suit that comes from speech and transcribed in written language can be a preliminary proof the report-
ers used. This is also become complaint to the Police. The article examines whether forensic linguis-
tics can be inferred unlawful speech.
Keywords: Courses; Forensic Linguistics; Innovation; Legal Issues.

ARTICLE HISTORY: Indonesia as an effort to assist the govern-

DOI: 10.28946/slrev.Vol2.Iss2.135.pp215-233 ment in solving the existing legal problems.
Received: Jun 13, 2018; Unfortunately, further development of these
Reviewed: Jul 13, 2018; disciplines has not currently been followed
Accepted: Jul 31, 2018;
Published: Jul 31, 2018;
up thoroughly and comprehensively. Par-
Citation: V.2.2 SLRev. 2018. ticularly a few universities are interested to
elevate the field of forensic studies into a
Faculty of Teacher Training and Education,
PGRI University of Palembang, Indonesia. E- branch of science that is paired with lin-
mail:; suryati- guistics. Until the end of 2014, there were quite
INTRODUCTION a lot of legal issues that basically touched
In the International seminar held by the and involved linguistic analysis. Some of
Linguistic Society of Indonesia (MLI) in these will be discussed further in the dis-
Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Bandung cussion section of this paper.
in 2011, Forensic linguistics was quite The Discipline of Forensic Linguistics
warmly spoken at that time. This branch of has a high accuracy ability to detect lies in
science is considered new to be applied in revealing various cases of criminal acts of

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The History of Forensic Linguistics as an Assisting Tool in the Analysis of Legal Terms

corruption to criminal. Commissariat fendant; sometimes also called forensic

chairman of the Linguistic Society of Uni- phonetics);
versitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI), Azis, 2. Author identification (determining who
stated that "The structure of someone's lan- wrote a particular text by comparing it
guage is always standard and the science of to known writing samples of a suspect;
Forensic Linguistics is highly scientific and sometimes also called forensic stylis-
can be learned. Until the field of science is tics);
convinced to be able to detect the lie infor- 3. Discourse analysis (analyzing the struc-
mation created when a person is undergoing ture of a writing or spoken utterance, of-
the examination report." ten covertly recorded, to help determine
This paper is a documentation study on issues such as who introduces the topics
the results of research and thought of re- or whether a suspect agrees to engage in
searchers both from domestics and foreign a criminal conspiracy);
countries interested in analyzing the exist- 4. Linguistic proficiency (did a suspect
ence of forensic linguistics in the legal field understand the Miranda warning or po-
of work. UPI is an institution of higher edu- lice caution?);
cation that pioneered the forensic linguistic 5. Dialectology (determining which dialect
work in Indonesia. According to its name, of a language a person speaks, usually
forensic science seeks to uncover the nature to show that a defendant has a different
of the cause of the case. Through forensic dialect from that on an incriminating
science, the root cause of the real problem tape recording as opposed to voice iden-
which triggers the case to be found. Foren- tification, which analyzes the acoustic
sic linguistics as one of the forensic science qualities of the voice, dialectology uses
branches provides as clear as possible the linguistic features to accomplish similar
nature and meaning of language speech ex- goals);
pressed by a native speaker, in the context 6. "Linguistic origin analysis" (this is our
of the occurrence of the utterance. This sci- term for the process of trying to deter-
ence provides a contribution to the disclo- mine what a person's native language is,
sure of the truth of judicial cases in court. often for purposes of granting or deny-
As long as the proof of truth is necessary to ing applications for political asylum. A
be done through linguistic data analysis, more common term is "language analy-
that is where the forensic linguistics will sis," but that term seems too broad.
find its function as one of the analytical Note that linguistic origin analysis is
tools. very similar to what we might call fo-
The research working area involves the rensic dialectology);
following forensic linguistics as follows:1 7. "Linguistic veracity analysis" (again, I
1. Voice identification (for instance, de- think I may have invented this term, but
termining whether the voice on a threat- it refers to various linguistically-
ening tape recording was that of the de- inspired methods for determining
whether a speaker or writer was being
1, From the quotation above, it appears
(retrieved: January 27, 2015).

Sriwijaya Law Review  Vol. 2 Issue 2, July (2018) [216]

Houtman and Suryati

that the field expertise and research of fo- ods to determine whether a speaker or
rensic linguistics included voice identifica- writer is telling the truth).
tion, author identification, discourse analy- Some major cases such as the judicial
sis, language proficiency, dialectology, lin- history of countries, for example, the Unit-
guistic origin analysis, and linguistic truth ed Kingdom, the United States, and Aus-
analysis: tralia used the results of the forensic lin-
1. Voice identification (For example, de- guistic analysis. As an example of the case
termining whether the sound on the tape of the Aborigines in Australia who were
is threatening is that the defendant, charged with murder. After the sentence, a
sometimes also called the forensic pho- forensic linguistics presented new evidence
netic); proposing an analysis of the structure of the
2. Author identification (Determining who aboriginal language. It was true after the
wrote a particular text by comparing it retrial verdict in contrast to the real facts, so
with the writing sample that known by that the punishment of the aboriginal person
the suspect, sometimes also called a fo- was revoked.2
rensic style of language); In Indonesia, forensic linguistic studies
3. Discourse analysis (Analyzing the have existed, but the utilization of the re-
structure of written or oral speech, often sults of the analysis has not been optimal, it
recorded, to help determine problems seems to be still very sporadic. Perhaps be-
such as those that introduce the topic or cause our laws have not accommodated and
whether a suspect agrees to engage in a made the testimony of linguists as a binding
criminal conspiracy); evidence in the judiciary. Therefore, the
4. Language proficiency; existence of the Language Center should be
5. Dialectology (Determining the language felt by the wider community by providing a
dialect of a person speaking, usually to much greater role. In the Language Center,
indicate that the defendant has a dialect there are the experts in various branches of
different from the one on the aggravat- linguistic discipline, that need to be coordi-
ing record. Differently, from the sound nated, touched with policy, and coaching
of identification, which analyzes the for the development of this forensic linguis-
sound acoustic quality, dialectology us- tics.
es linguistic features to accomplish the On the basis of the description above,
same goal); the main issue to be discussed in this paper
6. Linguistic origin analysis (This term for concerns the role of linguistics as a tool to
a process tries to determine what a per- solve the legal problems. In this context, the
son's native language is. A more general linguistic work area enters the forensic lin-
term is "language analysis". Note that guistic domain. Furthermore, in relation to
the analysis of linguistic origin is simi- the development of science, forensic lin-
lar to what we call forensic dialectolo- guistics will also be discussed from the ap-
gy); plication side as one of the linguistic sub-
7. Linguistic truth analysis (This term re- jects in the institutions of higher education.
fers to various inspired linguistic meth-
Veven Sp. Wardhana, Bahasa Hukum Bahasa tak
Pasti, Tempo, 4 April 2011.

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The History of Forensic Linguistics as an Assisting Tool in the Analysis of Legal Terms

The study in this paper is just an introduc- rate in connection with the judicial and jus-
tion to the phenomenon of law enforcement tice'. The meaning of the forensic word
of Indonesian law and language learning contained in the fourth edition of KBBI is
that utilizes forensic linguistic analysis. For narrow because KBBI exclusively connects
additional information, a case analysis of forensic with medical and surgical science.
"predictions" of contempt and defamation In fact, the core meaning of forensic is 'in
will be presented. relation to judicial and justice'; about what
has to do with the judicial and justice can
be anything. In addition, one of the things
The research method uses a module cover-
that can be possible that is linguistics. Fo-
ing research ethics, data collection, qualita-
rensic linguistics is one of the many
tive and quantitative research traditions, and
branches of linguistic science. It falls into
literature review.
the category of applied linguistics, which
ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION means, forensic linguistics is a manifesta-
About Forensic Linguistic tion of the application of linguistic science
The term of forensic linguistic first ap-
in the field or the realm of legal and judicial
peared in 1968, when a linguistics profes-
and justice.4
sor, Jan Svartvik, used it in the context of
Forensic Linguistics experts provided
reviewing the statements of Timothy John
evidence in:
Evans, a Wales truck driver who was sen-
tenced to death by a British court on the 1. Trademark dispute and other intellectual
alleged murder of Geraldine Evans, a 13- property.
2. Dispute the meaning and use of anony-
month-old baby girl who was his own
mous text writer identification (such as
daughter.3 threat letter, textphone, email).
The word forensic is based on the Latin 3. Identify cases of plagiarism.
word of forēns(is), which means „related to 4. Reconstruct mobile text conversations
the forum or public‟. Morphologically, the and a host of other issues.
word forēns(is) is formed by the word of The study of forensic linguistics is still
the forum that loses its final syllable when fairly new. However, it reaches the level of
combined with a suffix of inflection-ensis. the establishment as a discipline in the
The forum word itself means 'public place realm of academic and professional. In
or public'. In Indonesian language), The 1993, a professional association for forensic
word of forensic is understood in its most linguists established The International As-
recent and highly specialized meaning: 'the sociation of Forensic Linguists. A year lat-
branch of medical science related to the ap- er, in 1994, an authoritative journal entitled
plication of medical facts to legal matters' International Journal of Speech, Language,
and 'surgical sciences relating to the deter- and the Law was created. To date, there are
mination of the identity of a person's corpo- at least three universities offering master's
degree programs in forensic linguistics: two
Wahyu Adi Putra Ginting. Where Is Our Lin- in the United Kingdom (Aston dan Cardiff
guis(tic) Forensic?, 19 March 2012, Available
Universities) and one in Spain (Pompeu
mana-linguistik-forensik-kita/ (retrieved: January
30, 2015). Wahyu Adi Putra Ginting, Note 3, p1.

Sriwijaya Law Review  Vol. 2 Issue 2, July (2018) [218]

Houtman and Suryati

Fabra University). A professional forensic of any other meaning in the variance of the
linguist can be summoned and asked for his law. It is the requirement and it is not nego-
views as an expert witness in a trial requir- tiable.
ing linguistic analysis of the evidence or Nonetheless, in practice, the idea that
material relating to the case being held.5 has been mentioned above is often unful-
In the investigation process, the foren- filled. This is what Venven discussed with
sic linguist can barely assist the investiga- quite succinct but eye-catching reason.
tion team to perform, for example, a pho- Veven provided an example of a law in
netic analysis on a recording of a conversa- which common coercion occurs as a reward
tion. On many occasions, phonetic analysis for the uncertainty arising from the pattern
can be used to identify (owner‟s) sounds. of meaningless sentence formation. Veven's
For another case, an example of the case of example: Law No. 1/1974 about marriage7,
writing plagiarism, stylistic can be used to article 2, paragraphs 1 and 2 as follows:
prove whether a work is a plagiarism prod- "(1) Marriage is lawful if done accord-
uct because stylistic is able to examine the ing to the laws of their respective religion
level of similarity style of the writing be- and belief; (2) Each marriage shall be rec-
tween each other. On a further level, a fo- orded in accordance with applicable laws
rensic linguist can even cancel the verdict and regulations."
that has been imposed by a court on the de- It is obvious that the two verses may be
fendant if the person can prove clearly, separated (note the numbering (1) and (2)
through the analysis of pragmatic on re- that are being used) and may be joined to-
cordings and/or the transcription of the in- gether (note the use of the semicolon ';').
terrogation, for example, the defendant is When these two verses are understood sepa-
interrogated by an interrogator to admit the rately, that means the first verse is sufficient
act which the person did not actually do. to define a legitimate marriage (note the
word if, which is a marker of the validity of
Legal Language, Uncertain Language
a marriage). In this case, marriage based on
In Tempo Magazine, on 4th April 2011,
a religion will be considered legitimate
Veven Sp. Wardhana6 wrote: Law, which
without the need to register it legally. The
has the feature of 'definite' meaning, it ap-
problems will arise when disputes occur in
pears opposite because of the language fac-
the household because the marriage book is
tor. Variety of legal language is a variety of
considered to be "an essential point of the
standard languages that have the quality of
lawful document".8
certainty that should be telling, no miscel-
laneous, and no ambiguous. The variety of The Role of Forensic Linguistics in Indo-
legal language is a manifestation of mor- nesia
phosyntax engineered in such a way that the In Indonesia, Forensic Linguistics exists but
meaning produced by the variety of lan- the utilization of the results of the analysis
guages can be understood by all speakers as
a meaning. In short, there is no possibility 7
Nurhidayatuloh., et all, 2003, “Perkawinan di
Bawah Umur Perspektif HAM-Studi Kasus di
Desa Bulungihit, Labuhan Batu, Sumatra Utara.”
Wahyu Adi Putra Ginting, Note 3, p5. Jurnal Al-Mawarid, p1-14.
6 8
Veven Sp. Wardhana, Note 2. Veven Sp. Wardhana, Note 3, p8.

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The History of Forensic Linguistics as an Assisting Tool in the Analysis of Legal Terms

are not optimal, it seems it is still very spo- recording is original and not engineered
radic. Perhaps, it results from our laws (read Rasti case), as well as filtering and
which are not accommodated and made the sorting out the various recorded noise to
testimony of linguists as binding evidence find out the background where the record-
in the judiciary. ing was made. All analyses of forensic lin-
Forensic Linguistics Studies in Indone- guistics experts are taken into consideration
sia has not been developed optimally. As- in court. Forensic linguists are often con-
suming that it is being used, it could help sulted as expert witnesses.
reveal cases of corruption or other criminal When studying forensic linguistics, it is
cases. Forensic linguistics detects lies possible that the linguist's expertise in the
through the analysis of the acknowledgment realm of law is helpful in the process of in-
of the suspect‟s statements and witness in vestigation by the police and it is expected
terms of the language used. One method of to fully solve the most difficult cases such
Forensic Linguistics is through interview- as case of corruption nowadays.
ing techniques. "The interview technique
Acoustic Forensic Assessment
used can be compared with the examination Today, forensic linguistics studies are spe-
of the police investigation report. Accom- cifically applied in the fields related to the
panying Forensic Linguistics, all infor- language sound system known as phonetics.
mation given by a person can be analyzed
The role of phonetics, in this case, is di-
with linguistic structure". rected at the disclosure of personal identity
Aminudin stated that if there is a dif- through the sounds of language. This phe-
ferent result between the Forensic Linguist nomenon is based on the fact that every
and the police investigation report, there human being has a language sound that is
can be something wrong. Either there is en- different from each other.
gineering in the police investigation report Susanto, an Indonesian student, man-
or because the method of Forensic Linguis- aged to find a sound verification technique
tics is scientifically analyzed and no engi- with the Synchronic Stability Vowel Sys-
neering. "This science can also be investi- tem for the purpose of verification of taped
gated by investigators since the language of sound tapes as evidence in a trial. This sys-
a person through the information is a reflec- tem can be used to verify whether the voice
tion of his/her feeling. Therefore, Forensic in the recording belongs to the defendant or
Linguistics can uncover or explore infor- not. His discovery was presented at the con-
mation on any case, including terrorist cas- ference of International Association of Fo-
es." rensic Linguists (IAFL) in 2012 in Kuala
Forensic linguistics deals primarily Lumpur, Malaysia. Two of the experts who
with the problem of speaker identification attended the conference as Plenary Speaker
based on dialect, speech, or accent, some- were Prof. Malcolm Coulthard, a Forensic
times even analyzing the suspect's hand-
Linguistics expert of Aston University,
writing to get his/her profile, matching the United Kingdom and Judge Peter R.A.
recording of the accused with a number of
suspects, analyzing the characteristics of a
person's voice, making sure that the sound

Sriwijaya Law Review  Vol. 2 Issue 2, July (2018) [220]

Houtman and Suryati

Gray of the Federal Court, Australia.9 sound," he concluded. Barely to remind,

In the case of Nias, to strengthen its re- Saut reported that Fahuwusa contributed
port on allegations of the bribes to the Cor- him a money with the amount of 100 mil-
ruption Eradication Commission, a member lion rupiahs. The money was to annul Fer-
of the Election Commission, Saut Hamo- rywusa's write-off as a prospective regent.
nangan Sirait, recorded his conversation Well, to strengthen his report, Saut also
with the former South Nias Regent, recorded his conversation with Fahuwusa in
Fahuwusa Laia. To ensure that the recorded the Corruption Eradication Commission
voice belongs to Fahuwusa, the Corruption Office.10
Eradication Commission investigators also Commonly, that is just one of the ways
use the services of forensic linguistic ex- in which linguistic forensic works. The
perts from Bandung Technology Institute. problem in Indonesia is that this science is
This was revealed in a follow-up trial of the not yet known as an academic discipline; In
defendant Fahuwusa in Jakarta Corruption other words, Indonesian linguistics has not
Court, Jl HR Rasuna Said, South Jakarta, touched the forensic domain. Indonesian
Tuesday (20/12/2011). The expert witness- Language Dictionary also interprets new
es were the linguists of Bandung Technolo- forensic limited to the field of medical sci-
gy Institute, Djoko Sarwono. Djoko told ence and post-mortem. Our judicial and po-
that he and the team were asked by the Cor- lice systems have not recognized and
ruption Eradication Commission investiga- acknowledged linguistic share as one of the
tors about the vote. The investigator methods of producing judgments that may
showed two samples of voice. One sample affect court judgment or as a means of in-
was identified and the other one was to be vestigating cases. In short: forensic linguis-
equated. tics has no authority in Indonesia and most
In conclusion, the two samples had a probably has not existed, or very few Indo-
resemblance of up to 80 percent. Djoko nesian linguists who work as forensics lin-
pointed out that if a voice sample had a guists.
similarity as much as to that percentage, it The recognition of authority is very
was almost positive that the voice was the important for forensic linguistics because it
same. He was sure there was no human be- is the requirement to create this science to
ing having a very identical sound. The be useful. It is useless to have a solid lin-
shape of the lips, teeth, chest cavity, the ab- guistic analysis of legal texts when the
dominal cavity are what cause the differ- analysis itself is not recognized by its influ-
ences in each type of sound. Someone can ence. Of course, before the Indonesian judi-
indeed make a voice similar to someone ciary and police system recognize the influ-
else. But it takes a long time to practice it. ence of forensic linguistics within their sys-
"And usually it is just a minute, and then tems, this science itself must academically
the person will return to his/her original be strong, merely like the medical science

9 10
Eddi Santosa, Students of The Republic of Indone- Moksa Hutasoit, Corruption Eradication Com-
sia Discover Voice Verification System For Foren- mission Presents Linguistic Expert in Bribery
sics, Available from: Detiknews, p2. (retrieved: Meeting of General Election Commission‟s
December 20, 2011) Member, Detiknews, p2.

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The History of Forensic Linguistics as an Assisting Tool in the Analysis of Legal Terms

that is already strong academically so its plex language phrases with many com-
role and its analysis conclusions are recog- pound sentences. Though the assessment
nized in the field of forensics. variables are enough, Aminudin said, lan-
guage analysts can discover a pattern of
Honesty Tests through Someone’s Lan-
language consistency that speakers use.
guage Style
"The level of forensic accuracy of this lan-
Who was actually honest and lying in the
guage abroad reaches 80 percent."
case of former Democratic Party Treasurer
The remaining of 20 percent is consid-
Nazaruddin and the Corruption Eradication
ered to fail to analyze the people who
Commission? The truth test can actually be
turned out to have psychological disorders
revealed using language forensics.
and good at playing the language. "To de-
Similar to forensic surgery in medicine,
ceive people, every time someone's speech
language forensic dissects someone's oral
can change, as a result, the linguist will not
speech that is being transcribed or written.
be able to find the truth of one's words,
Analysis of this language in a number of
probably s/he used to lie since childhood,"
countries such as Australia and Europe
said the Rector of Universitas Pendidikan
were used as evidence in the trial.
Indonesia in the field of planning, research
According to a professor of pragmatic,
and development.
sociolinguistic, and language philosophy of
Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Aziz, the Some Questions and Sample Cases
way of language surgery is carried out in 1. In the first case, the police arrested 7
two ways, namely interviews and investiga- Singlar villagers for allegedly looting
tion report of the litigant. "Language ex- the evidence they received from
ANTV's report in the Morning Top
perts can also find out whether the inter-
news segment on November 21, 2010.
views and investigation report maker are In the report broadcast, there was a
honest or not," said the initiator of forensic twelve-sentence narrative describing a
language in Indonesia in conversation with 'Looting' perpetrated by a 'youth plot' in
Tempo magazine, last weekend.11 the Singlar hamlet. The case was
Language specialists analyse the birth sparked by controversy as the suspects
structure of language and inner language. of the case did not feel that they com-
mitted the looting. This controversy
The birth structure can be analysed from
made the people and Wahmuji try to in-
language constructions and sentences used. vestigate the case. The people‟s inquiry
Meanwhile, the inner structure is analysed materials were transcriptions of the
in terms of the meaning of the spoken word. twelve-sentence narratives and snippets
"From the merger, it can be seen whether of ANTV cameraman images broad-
someone related to the case was certain or casted in the form of the television news
not, or hesitant with his words," he said. product. Using our semantic-contextual
analysis it proved that the 'loot' stamp
The construction of sentences and
was incorrect to be embedded on the
speaker's choice of words relatively will be events occurring in Singlar; with the
consistent with what someone believes, in- analysis of the meanings and tendencies
cluding the use of active, passive, and com- of the dictionary selection proved that
the twelve-sentence narratives produced
11 by the newsmakers had absolutely the
Sanjaya, Tempo, 2011, p9.

Sriwijaya Law Review  Vol. 2 Issue 2, July (2018) [222]

Houtman and Suryati

motive for imaging the people whose (KUHP). In the meantime, in the Crim-
images were portrayed as 'looters'; and inal Code (Chapter XVI about humilia-
by comparing the suitability of the im- tion) it is obvious that such defamation
ages and narrations proved that there
should be committed against a person
were claims of reported events without
image proof.12 and constitute a complaint offense (Ar-
2. Can Status on Facebook be sued? ticle 319 of the Criminal Code). How-
The status of Facebook containing ever, the Article 27 paragraph (3) of the
complaints of injustice, disrespect, and Law on ITE is only stated that a person
scolding that all never mention the who commits insult or defamation
names or agencies can be put on the ta- through electronic media may be con-
ble. Related to that, based on the Article
27 paragraph (3) in conjunction with
Article 45 paragraph (1) of Law No.11 Regarding the defamation article of
of 2008 on Electronic Information and the ITE Law and the Criminal Code,
Transactions ("ITE Law"), it is potential the Chairman of Indonesian Cyber Law
to consider the Facebook content as a Community (ICLC), Arifiyadi in the
criminal act even though it does not article complained in social media by
clearly mention the complained name or disguising the name of the targeted
institution. The following is the sound-
pointed out that:
ing of Article 27 paragraph (3) of the
Whether a word or phrase is said to de-
ITE Law and Article 45 paragraph (1) fame a person or a legal entity in the
of the ITE Law. Criminal Code ("KUHP") and Law No.11
Article 27 paragraph (3) of the ITE of 2008 on Information and Electronic
Law: witnesses ("ITE Law") is not defined in
detail. This is because the meaning of vili-
Every person intentionally and without a fication has a relative meaning. To prove
right distributes and/or transmits and/or more accurately a word or phrase is said
makes accessible Electronic Information to defame a person or institution, the Law
and/or Electronic Documents with defam- Enforcement Official ("APH") usually us-
atory and/or defamatory content. es a linguist or other social scientists re-
lated to the substance of that word or
Article 45 paragraph (1) of the ITE phrase.
Law: 3. Legal for Spread Capture Conversation
via Blackberry Messenger (BBM)
Any Person who fulfils the element as re-
ferred to in Article 27 paragraph (1), par- Capture in the form of an image to a
agraph (2), paragraph (3), or paragraph conversation via Blackberry Messenger
(4) shall be sentenced maximum of 6 (six)
years imprisonment and/or a maximum
(BBM) that is distributed without per-
fine of Rp 1,000,000,000.00 (one billion mission of all parties involved in the
rupiahs). conversation may be subject to viola-
Based on the Article 27 paragraph tions of the articles of the ITE Act.
(3) ITE Law, one needs to be careful in Lately a widely spread of capture is
writing on his/her Facebook status. aimed to distribute slander or defama-
This is because the regulation of defa- tion. In fact, BBM conversations are
mation or contempt in the ITE Law is usually only in a personal context.
broader than the Criminal Code The dissemination of private elec-
tronic conversations to public areas ei-
Note 2, p5. ther through BBM group or individual

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The History of Forensic Linguistics as an Assisting Tool in the Analysis of Legal Terms

or perhaps by way of dissemination to (3) of the ITE Law is as follows:

many recipients freely constitutes a
Every Person knowingly and without a
breach of privacy as regulated in The right distributes and/or transmits and/or
Law No.11 of 2008 on Information and makes accessible Electronic Information
and/or Electronic Documents with hu-
Electronic Transactions ("ITE Law").
miliation and/or defamatory content.
In the ITE Act, there are two articles
related to possible violations in the The violation of the provisions of
spread of the capture of conversation Article 27 paragraph (3) of the ITE
via BBM: First, it is the provision of Law is threatened with criminal sanc-
personal data contained in Article 26 of tions as regulated in Article 45 para-
the ITE Law. If the capture of conver- graph (1) of the ITE Law which is
sations is via BBM, there are personal maximum imprisonment of 6 (six)
data including names, writings, and/or years and/or a maximum fine of
images that can identify a person then Rp1,000,000,000.00 (One billion rupi-
the dissemination of the conversation ah).
through electronic media either con- Another thing to note related to the
ducted by parties outside the conversa- capture of BBM is to take into account
tion or by any party that is in conversa- that the BBM‟s capture file is an image
tion must be made with the consent the form, it does not mean if the capture of
related person. Violation of Article 26 BBM is edited or engineered with an
of this ITE Law may be subject to civil image engineering software according
sanction. to the will of the disseminating party,
The following is the overall content so it looks as if it was in accordance
of Article 26 of the ITE Law: with the original. No one can guarantee
(1) Except as otherwise provided by the the naked eye that the capture of fuel
Laws and Regulations, the use of any in- sent by someone that must be identical
formation through electronic media con-
cerning the personal data of a person shall to the BBM format as the original. Sci-
be made with the consent of the person entific testing or observation is re-
(2) Everyone whose rights are violated as
quired (such as via digital forensic
referred to in paragraph (1) may file a methods) to ensure a BBM‟s capture is
lawsuit for damages incurred under this genuine (in accordance with the origi-
Second, it is the provision of defama- nal form and content).
tion. If the dissemination of such con- 4. Example of PRAGMATIC ANALY-
versations through electronic media de- SIS OF FAIR ACTION THAT RE-
fames the person's status/reputation/ FLECTED LAW13
honour, the party who knowingly dis- This study aimed to reveal the alleged
seminates/distributes the conversation speech as a crime of humiliation, de-
without rights or can be interpreted ception, and defamation by using
without the consent of the person vio- Pragmatic analysis. The results of the
lates the provisions of Article 27 para-
graph (3) of the Act ITE. Andika Duta Bachari, Pragmatic Analysis of
Legal Impacts, Research Report, Bandung:
The content of Article 27 paragraph Pendidikan Indonesia University, 2012.

Sriwijaya Law Review  Vol. 2 Issue 2, July (2018) [224]

Houtman and Suryati

preliminary studies conducted by the reported, and the persons who were pre-
authors show that research on the effec- sented as witnesses by the complainant and
tiveness of the sentences was an area reported. The witnesses were presented in
that most people did in the context of his capacity as persons who knew of an
the study of the language used in the event that was charged with a specific
realm of law. This study was directed crime to the police. The police investigation
to discuss the issue of speech acts hav- report was prepared as a standard police
ing an impact on the law, namely the procedure (read: investigator) when con-
alleged speech as an act of deception, ducting an investigation on a particular
humiliation, and defamation. The basis case. For the complaints, as the case ana-
of the belief in the understanding and lyzed in this research, the police would de-
view of language studies cannot be termine whether the complaint complied
separated from the socio-cultural reali- with the criminal elements as set out in the
ties, and it also accompanies the pres- article or not? Through the minutes of this
ence of an event in the language. As a examination, the police would determine
consequence, this study of speech acts whether or not a particular case has pro-
having an impact on the law would be ceeded to court.
studied through a functional approach. The unit of analysis in this research
This study used a pragmatic theory as a was a speech used as evidence by the com-
branch of linguistics with the philoso- plainant as a specific crime. In other words,
phy of functionalism which would be the unit analyzed was reported in spoken
utilized as a theoretical framework for sentences.
data analysis. In general, the data analysis of this
study was conducted in the following steps:
Research Problems
1. Doing anonymization of the names in-
The law-related speech acts in this study
volved in the case as stated in the inves-
were identified as reported by the reporters tigation report. For example, the author
to the Detective and Criminal Unit of the anonymized a name as Mrs/Mr. X,
Resort Police of Big City (Polrestabes) of which was the investigation report stat-
Bandung as an act of fraud, defamation, and ed as rapporteur.
humiliation. The law-impacted edicts of 2. Describing the legal utterances and
this study were limited to the speech repre- identifying the pragmatic component as
the context of the birth of the speech,
sented by text (in the form of written lan-
i.e. on all matters relating to speech (u),
guage). Thus, this research would endeavor speaker (s), opponents‟ saying (h), the
to prove whether or not the reporter's al- context and contexts (c). The descrip-
leged misconduct of the reported act of tion was done by looking at all the in-
speech was considered to be a criminal act formation presented by the witnesses in
of fraud, defamation, and humiliation. the minutes of the investigation report.
3. Exploring the power of the speech by
About Data and Data Analysis Proce- taking the context into account of the
dures birth of the speech that the author pre-
The data of this research were the police viously described through the contextu-
investigation report to the complainant, the alization of the case contained in the
minutes of the investigation report.

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The History of Forensic Linguistics as an Assisting Tool in the Analysis of Legal Terms

4. Exploring the conversational implica- reported wants, while another speech (PT
tures to understand the speaker's intent K) dimension was as an effort to offer. In
in delivering the speech. the case of defamation, the reported speech
5. Analyzing the speech to prove the ful-
(Mr. W) was powerless, it did not
filment of the terms of validity (felicity
conditions) in the unit being analyzed acknowledge the circumstances of the com-
(in this case the spoken speech). This plainant, it warned the complainant not to
analysis examined the matters relating engage in certain activities and evaluated
to the authority of a person to say, the the reporting action as an incompetent per-
sincerity of a person expressing a son. The three powers of the chorus were
speech and the impact of the action of difficult to belong to a defamation act.
the utterance. The term of validity was a
Second, the conversation implicatures
linguistic measure to determine and
prove that a speech was categorized as a of the reported speech were identified
dimension of fraud, humiliation, and through an analysis of the application of the
defamation. Cooperative Principle in the speech. In the
6. Summarizing the error allegations of case of humiliation, the reported speech
fraudulent, defamatory, and defamatory implicature (Ny X) was an attempt to end
actions in the reported speech imposed the conversation with the complainant and
by the complainant
reply to what the previous complainant
Research Findings said, while in the other case the reported
In line with the problems of this study, speech implied that the reporter was angry
there were three research findings used as and declared it was problematic because of
an answer to the problem. the previous reporting action which was
First, the power of speech in the re- considered harmful. In the case of fraud, the
ported speech illustrated the existence of an implication of the speech Ny. D was to de-
act which, according to the complainant, ceive the complainant for profit, while the
contained certain crimes against him/her. implication of PT. K was not proven to
Speech power was related to the power of cause harm to the complainant as the main
speech implied in giving birth to a particu- characteristic of a fraud. The implication of
lar purpose. The meaning of a speech was the speech in the case of defamation was
not always similar to the words making up that the reported party gave a reply with the
the sentence, but it was influenced by the contents of the judgment of the acts con-
context of the narrative. All reported speech ducted by Mr. R.
was basically a dimensionless action. In the The validity of the speech was seen
case of humiliation, the reported speech had from the felicity conditions to prove that all
power as a form of humiliation. The two the reported had the capacity to deliver the
reported, (Mrs. X and Mr. S) committed speech because of a problem. In addition,
humiliation by evaluating the physical and the context of the birth of the speech indi-
reporting characteristics of the low and cated that the reporter said the utterance in
negative categories. In the case of fraud, the earnest, other than it was true that their
reported speech (Mrs. D) had the power of speech was dimensionless action.
speech as a deceit/lie delivered to direct the The fulfilment of the terms of valid-
opposite of his speech to perform the action ity in the reported speech was helpful to

Sriwijaya Law Review  Vol. 2 Issue 2, July (2018) [226]

Houtman and Suryati

prove the unfairness of the alleged com- it was translated "There were many inves-
plainant against the complaint. The results tors whose projects were cancelled because
of the analysis indicated that the 3 reported the Regent did not receive a commission".
reports were accurate to be suspected as "Whereas the real meaning, many investors
criminal offenses, while the other two were did not build the project. It was obviously
not appropriate to be suspected as criminal exaggerating," he explained.
offenses. Nursal also stated that the prosecutor in
Based on the analysis above, it is obvi- the indictment of applying the Electronic
ous how important the role of an in-depth Information and Transaction Law Article
study of forensic linguistics is. In recent 27 paragraph 3 was considered inappropri-
years, there have been many legal cases of ate. The article mentioned only the contents
defamation based on their law which has a of the norm of prohibition. "Not a criminal
basis to be charged into the legal domain provision," he said.
for the perpetrators. However, highly Fadli, who was met at the Makassar
skillful scientists who have the ability to Detention Centre before the trial, said that
interpret a conversation are thought to be the criticism he delivered in the Line group
potentially a form of vilification which is was not intended to humiliate the Regent.
not enough. As a result, interpretation in the Instead, the criticism was a feeling he con-
judiciary still varies. veyed as the hope of an ideal government in
Several of these "defamation" issues Gowa District.
are described as follows: "We were just kidding in the group,
and I just conveyed my feelings about this
Joking in Internet Groups, This Employ-
ee Is on Trial area, that's all," he said. He also denied hav-
Civil servants detained for criticizing the ing intentionally defamed the regent by
Regent Gowa, Ichsan Yasin Limpo, Fadli spreading the conversation transcripts in the
Rahim (33) was undergoing a follow-up Line group. "I never spread it, so which one
trial at the Sungguminasa District Court on was called defamation?" said the staff of the
Wednesday (24/12). The hearing was held Department of Culture and Tourism of
with the agenda of listening to the memo- Gowa Regency.
randum of exception from the defendant. Meanwhile, the Head of Inspectorate of
Fadli's legal adviser, Nursal, said the Gowa Regency, Chairul Natsir confirmed
indictment filed by the public prosecutor in that Fadli was sanctioned demotion and
the previous session was odd. The charge of suspension of positions. "I have forgotten
the indictment was deemed unclear and in- what my position was because the case was
comprehensible. "In the indictment, the ex- long enough," he said on Friday (19/12).
pert witnesses seemed to add the translation Chairul would submit a recommenda-
of Fadli's conversation in the Line group," tion letter of dismissal if Fadli was sen-
he said. tenced to prison for six years. "He could
Nursal stated in a conversation in the have been fired, if the punishment was long
social media group that Fadli wrote in Ma- enough, we can apply to the Civil Service
kassar language "Jai-jai investor tena anjari
proyek". And then by the expert witnesses,

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The History of Forensic Linguistics as an Assisting Tool in the Analysis of Legal Terms

Agency," he said.14 not the product of the press. "We get con-
fused," as Ronnie said. Ronnie described he
People's Torch Be Snared Press Law, Po-
did not dismiss if there were likely addi-
lice: Witness Fear
tional violations of the law in the case of
Public Relations Division Head of Police
the Torch. According to Ronnie, now there
Headquarters Ronnie F. Sompie said the
are already some experts who are brave
reason for the use of Press Law to ensnare
enough to examine this case. "If the study
two suspects in the case of the People's
discovered a violation of the criminal code,
Torch tabloid because the institution was
the two suspects of the People's Torch
pursued in time. According to Ronnie, the
might have been subject to criminal law
Police had to quickly take action to curb the
articles and arrested," Ronnie concluded.
growing issues in the community. "We are
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 | 09:52
urged by many parties to ensnare the Peo-
ple's Torch suspect with the prevailing law, The One who insulted Prabowo was De-
but no criminal law can be imposed on tained for One Month More
them," Ronnie said when he was met by Convicted of defamation against former
Tempo at his office on Monday, July 14, presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto,
2014. The torch contained a black cam- Brama Japon Janua, 31 years old, chose to
paign against the presidential candidate undergo an additional one month of deten-
Joko Widodo. tion. Four months in prison by Surabaya
According to Ronnie, the Police arrest- District Court yesterday was actually
ed the suspect with the Press Law because enough to keep him free.
no experts were willing to be questioned to However, another option had to be tak-
strengthen the existence of a criminal act in en because the judges, headed by Ma-
the case of Torch. Ronnie also stated that in nungku Prasetyo, added to the penalty of a
order to ensnare the suspect Torch with fine of 10 Million Rupiahs subsidiary a
criminal law, Police need information from month of confinement. Hearing the verdict,
linguists, law, and criminal law experts. Brama, previously being detained as a secu-
However, the police did not get any infor- rity guard at the port, answered that he
mation. "These experts were afraid of hav- could not pay the fine. "I added another
ing the Witness and Victim Protection month," he said, after reading the judge's
Agency if it is necessary for them," Ronnie verdict.
said. The verdict prison is received by
Consequently, Ronnie described that Brama in accordance with the previous
the Police used the Press Law. He said the prosecutor's. It was only the judge's penalty
Police knew it was special, but it was what which was greater than the 250,000 rupiahs.
the Police could do at that moment. He then "If it is not accepted, an appeal can be sub-
explained the problem as follows. The Press mitted," said Manungku.
Council evaluated that People's Torch was Brama has been detained at the First
Class Detention Center Surabaya since Au-
14 gust 5, 2014. He was accused of defaming
Diadili (retrieved: January 27, 2015). the East Java Police and Prabowo Subianto
because of his Facebook status.

Sriwijaya Law Review  Vol. 2 Issue 2, July (2018) [228]

Houtman and Suryati

Claimed as a member of the Brigade to have qualified as a form of defamation

Mobile Police, holding the rank of Briga- statement. This will not happen if the lan-
dier Two Policeman in East Java, Candra guage analysis conducted forensic linguist
Tanzil, Brama wrote: working optimally.
If this country is headed by Special Forces The two events above are very different
Command (Kopassus), it is unthinkable to me.
The fear of evil will be rampant. Oh God, I just
from the incessant contempt against
want to live in peace, God please create Jokowi Jokowi. So far, the musicians of the AD
as a winner, because I am very confident about quite a lot of statements openly nuanced
Jokowi's leadership if he can become a presi-
dent of Indonesia. Jokowi. But until now there has been no
According to the three news above, significant action. Indeed, this is all back to
there still have something that needs to be those who feel slandered. And maybe so far
discussed more deeply for each case. Con- Jokowi has not felt it is a form of humilia-
sidering the first case editorial: An employ- tion and/or defamation. But it is fitting, law
ee of the Tourism Office of Gowa district, enforcement that leads to verbal evidence
Fadli wrote in Makassar native language. both oral and written must be fair. The lack
"Jai-jai investor Tena Anjari Proyek" then of understanding and the lack of a linguistic
by the expert witnesses, it was translated forensic technique that makes the interpre-
into "There are many investors whose pro- tation of a statement bias and unclear.
jects were cancelled because the Regent did The given such events are frequent and
not receive a commission". Whereas the increasingly widespread, so language ex-
real meaning is, "many investors did not perts should also consider forensic linguis-
build the project". tics as a branch of science developed at
As a result of these writings, the con- universities in view of its high use for the
cerned employee was detained and demot- establishment of justice in the country.
ed, as well as the postponement of promo- However, the legal sanctions provided
tion and even threatened dismissal from the vary considerably. It is necessary to need a
civil servant status. This is obviously very more in-depth review of the subject matter
impartial. It also fittingly raised a firm law of the law faced, because the issue is about
on the "mandatory" existence of a language language issues, the involvement of lin-
expert to provide an interpretation of the guists is urgently needed, particularly the
occurred event which was said. ones who have expertise in the field of fo-
Note also in the third case, a young rensic linguistics.
man named Brama put in prison for writing:
Forensic Linguistics as a Science Branch
If this country is headed by Special Forces in a Higher Education
Command (Kopassus), it is unthinkable to me.
Listening from several higher education
The fear of evil will be rampant. Oh God, I just
want to live in peace, God please create Jokowi references in the world which organizes
as a winner, because I am very confident about study forensic linguistics, such as Monash
Jokowi's leadership if he can become a presi-
dent of Indonesia. University and Aston University can be ad-
dressed in a positive few things about fo-
His statement was considered to have rensic linguistics, (hereinafter abbreviated
insulted Prabowo. Of course, it should not as LF) which can be considered as an alter-
be that easy. Editorial Language is deemed native to the study of linguistics in higher

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The History of Forensic Linguistics as an Assisting Tool in the Analysis of Legal Terms

education. board for the next elective material, giving

First, the material of science concerns students a taste of various available topics.
the comprehensive knowledge and under-
Analyzing Written and Spoken Discourse
standing of the field of forensic linguistics, These materials introduce students to un-
which analyzes the language of the legal derstand context-based oral and written dis-
process. In order to understand how its lin- courses. Various approaches of text analy-
guistic analysis, LF can be used as a vital sis are looked at such as genre and register,
investigation tool. Students will gain a patterns and signals, ethnographic commu-
wealth of experience in analyzing language nication, conversation and pragmatic analy-
data derived from the context of real-life sis. The approaches are then applied to the
law. Teachers are expected to use teaching analysis of oral and written discourse in
materials from the original case, including various contexts, including non-forensic
from the Forensic Linguistics Case docket contexts. These materials allow students to
itself, ensuring that they will gain the best develop their skills in discourse analysis
possible insight into the field and ensure and improve their understanding and
that the program is relevant, up to date, and awareness so that they will feel more confi-
based on the reality of the professional dent about the collection and analysis of
practice. oral and written data.
Second, Material Selection. The de-
scription of the lecture materials containing Linguistic Investigation and Evidence
the main subject of the study is as follows. The introduction of a forensic linguistic in-
vestigation and the form of evidence that a
Core Material: practitioner might be expected to provide is
Introduction to Linguistics introduced. It provides students with an
This material is designed for students who overview of the various possible linguistic
come to the program without previous qual- evidence and encourages them to explore
ifications or experience in linguistic analy- what should not and should be provided as
sis. It introduces to students the basics of evidence by linguists. This encourages stu-
language analysis, equipping them with the dents to consider the needs of the police
necessary knowledge and skills. Students and the courts in a written report and lin-
may be advised, whether this module is guist role in providing evidence as an ex-
mandatory or not for them. pert witness. Examples of real cases need to
be given in this course.
Introduction to Forensic Linguistics
This material provides a general introduc- Spoken Language and Legal System
tion to forensic linguistics, covering key This part takes a deeper view of the oral
topics in the field. This will provide stu- text in the context of the law. Some of the
dents with a strong foundation in all key most important parts of the legal process
areas, including courtroom discourses, po- depend on oral interaction, from initial
lice interviews, language as evidence, the meetings between police and community
role of linguists as expert witnesses, and members, to witness and suspect inter-
language and weaknesses in the legal pro- views, courtroom interactions. It is neces-
cess. This basic material provides a spring- sary to analyze all kinds of interactions,

Sriwijaya Law Review  Vol. 2 Issue 2, July (2018) [230]

Houtman and Suryati

along with the legal professional language opportunities for linguistic and professional
('police-speaking', and 'speaking like a law- researchers in the legal process. In relation
yer'), language offenders and treatment, and to scientific studies in colleges, it is possi-
a wider consideration of the differences be- ble that forensic linguistics is proposed as
tween law and lies paradigm of communi- part of applied or stand-alone linguistics as
cation. a science.
Written Language in the Legal System CONCLUSION
It discusses the role of texts written in the 1. The Language Center should have an
legal system. It starts by considering the important role benefited greatly by
extent to which the written legal text regu- many people. The Language Center has
lates all our lives, regardless of whether we experts of various branches of linguistic
ever read them or did know where to find discipline, living in coordination,
them. It is necessary to examine contracts, touched with policy, and coaching for
the development of this forensic linguis-
product warnings, insurance and other con-
sumer documents, as well as laws and other 2. Given the many problems that occur in
formal legal texts such as judge/prosecutor the legal and judicial spheres of Indone-
instruction. The main theme is the issue of sia, Indonesian linguists have inevitably
comprehensibility and disputed meaning, paid close attention to efforts to build
especially where a layman comes into con- education and forensic linguistics insti-
tact with the text of the law. Other topics tutions in Indonesia. Education is essen-
tial for producing sufficient human re-
include plagiarism and legal language as a
sources in forensic linguistics. The es-
genre. tablishment of a forensic linguistics in-
Linguistic Disadvantage in Forensic Con- stitute is necessary to develop the sci-
texts ence itself. The institute will become a
forensic linguistics development labora-
It provides students with an introduction to
tory as well as the unveiling of that sci-
the form of language flaws in forensic and ence with the prevailing legal system in
legal contexts. The contexts include the Indonesia.
point of arrest, during interview investiga- 3. There needs to be an initiation of estab-
tions and courtroom interactions. Adverse lishing the Indonesian Forensic Linguis-
forms are considered to be non-native tics Institute which has a legal basis and
authority in solving legal cases in Indo-
speakers, deaf or partial deaf and require
interpretation marks, to be vulnerable chil- 4. After examining the value of the use-
dren or adults. Strategies to address weak- fulness of forensic linguistics learning
nesses include legal interpretation and in universities, especially as the provi-
translation (including signing), intermediar- sion of graduate profession choice, it
ies, and other measures aiming at protecting should be followed up by the basic
vulnerable language and psychology. preparation of the substance of forensic
linguistic learning materials.
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