Mahardhika Zifana, Iwa Lukmana, Dadang Sudana


In Indonesia, the law that regulates defamation case is not only the Criminal Code but also the Law of the Republic Indonesia Number 11 of 2008 on Information & Electronic Transactions (the ITE Law). From 2009 to 2014, the ITE Law has brought 71 defendants in courts as the suspects of defamation case. This overlapping law seems to be caused by many dimensions that can be used to see whether a person’s name can be ‘defamed’ due to someone else’s language productions. The complexity of defamation in Indonesia leads this study to look into its legal dimensions from a linguistic perspective. Conducted in the context of law in Indonesia, this research attempted to discover the portrayal of defamation case defendants in court verdicts. The data of the research were collected from the copies of court verdicts of two defendants of defamation case in Indonesia, settling in 2014 and 2015. The data were in the form of texts explaining the position of the defendants in their relation to the grounds for judge’s final decision. This research employed van Leeuwen’s (2004) Critical Discourse Analysis as a framework to reveal social semiotic features depicting and explaining the construction and position of inclusion and exclusion of social actors in related discourses. Data interpretation and final conclusions unveil the existence of certain features that might violate the principle of presumption of innocence against defendants. This research also reveals marginalization of defendants in an effort to balance justice retributively and restoratively. The study indicates that the defendants turned to be the target of victimization in the production of court verdicts, while in fact, the law should place all subjects in equal positions before the delivery of such consequential decisions.


Court verdict; critical discourse analysis; defamation; legal linguistics

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