Academic Research and Legal Consequences

In these last days, national media is hailed by controversy of research done by ESDM which is further used by PSLH UNDIP as one of basic data of research that criticized by UGM. PSLH UNDIP appears to have been funded by PT Semen Gresik to organize research in order to provide academic back ground of legal procedures to legalize the access of that company over 2000 ha land in Sukolilo of Central Java for fabric of cement.

According to UGM, there are many kinds of ecological settings that unconsidered by ESDM despite the tangible description of impacts. UGM and teams find 79 active water resources and 39 of investigated have produced 1.009,36 litre per second. Also they found 24 caves and 15 of them are the water resources actively. 12 of those resources are incorporated to be the area of exploitation. Poppy Ismalina as one of UGM’s team researcher composes the data against of what UNDIP done in other ways. UNDIP’s discovery is that in 7 villages of Sukolilo, only 6 water resources found, while several are dry cave without water resources. Finding more, UNDIP’s searching maps the west territory as a number one carst which catches water. On the contrary, the east is dry carst and such finding soon being a recommendation that east area can be mined for cement.

The most skeptical question on UNDIP’s research is about using of territory management of Pati District which is out of date (Kompas 12 July 2008). On scientific ground and methodological perspectives, using such the weak data, for such kind of research, are catastrophes for two responsibilities. First, it is going to be a bad signal for scientific truth of a research which leads to set up a certain public policy. Peoples, inevitably is going to conclude generally soon or later that even scientific report can be manipulated for many kind of reason utterly unrelated with scientific matters. Second, it will maim the ethics of scientific report which has driven method tightly and less dubious to its result. By using such data and gap of finding with UGM’s has, UNDIP at least is condemned by public trial through press coverage and many public media. It is an initial signal that such research has annoyed the common sense on ethics of scientific research

Soon afterward, this was going to be the polemics on moral attitude and position of research in field of scientific validity. Apparently, ethics is paradigm of this discussion because either moral attitude or scientific responsibility subject to the certain guideline and code of conduct which are most of them about ethics. However, it is not about right or wrong but talking more on method of choices which drive somebody, group, people to ensure something on track.

Being Punished for Assisting Crime

On ethics, it is important to remind some well-known history of which ethics and legal principles connected each other. It was Nazi which greatly used the power of science to back up the cruel extermination for the sake of Puritanism of Aria. In 1947, scientists involved in many ways of Nazi’ darkness to human history, was sued before the court to make responsible for their engagement in torture, extermination and other cruel on human being along Hitler’s hand over Europe.

The underline argument of judges is that scientist is adjudicated because of assisting criminal by utilizing the scientific capacity. It is showing that the reason is because of criminal, whatever the ways went through. Accordingly, scientific method is not in the area of be sentenced guilty or not, but in terms of using scientific for violating the legal order or social order, whether intentionally or not.

Legal Consequences

In legal procedures, sometimes we need to organize scientific research providing scientific legitimacy on the background of issuing policy. But, it is until now that research behind policy is never cancelled after the policy in question retracted. Research in that sense is the only supporting of policy. In addition, a research also comes up with inner logic which does not always related to scientific purpose. Either money or appeal of power interfere with research sometimes strike the ethics down instead of objectivity.

Research such as AMDAL and other initial processes of academics to support the issuing of licence is having legal implication in itself. While it was not designedly to have legal implication instead of academic purpose, research for policy-making is really a part of the whole process. In particular, as ever appointed in many research and theory, law is space of and for negotiation which is on rhetoric, a little bit contrary since initially presumed that many interest will have the same position before the law-making. Law is a breakthrough of political impasse of which law supposed to be neutral. But, it is also contested power which is Marx thesis really on board, since he said that law is a part of upper class’ instrument to make the frame of power settled. In that context, proletarian will be alienated from controlling power but getting worst for subject under the upper class power.

It is the background that situating a research for policy in particular also a research for the upper class which has money and other resources to take over silently even openly the law-making process. Since the process becomes partial, soon afterwards law is going to be steered particularly by its proponents. Accordingly, a research whatever it scientific is, basically can be posed to politically include other for exclude others. In sounds of legal terminology, such tendency is a category of motivation to commit a violation against the law or social order. Therefore, it is a reason to consider it as a connected process to a kind of violations. It is not a suit on scientific process and validity but a suing against the action of supporting somebody or organizing scientific research to any criminal aims.

Step forward of forgoing supposes to have clearly distinction between scientific research and scientific matters for a kind of violations. Scientific research cannot be adjudicated for doing scientific research. But, it must be followed by many clear indicators showing that such research is a part of violation. Otherwise, scientific research will never be a part of making progress to society.

 

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