Legal Age of Adult


The term adult describes any matured organism, but usually refers to people: people who are no longer children and have become an adult men or women. Adulthood can be defined from the aspect of biology, law, personal character, or social status. Various aspects of adulthood are often inconsistent and contradictory. A person may be biologically an adult, and has adult behavioral characteristics but still be treated as a small child if he/sheis under the age of legal adult. Conversely, a person can be legally considered an adult, but does not have the maturity and responsibility that reflect adult characters (see:


Adult can be defined as a legal competency of a person before the law in conducting a legal action or a person who has attained the legal age of majority. Adulthood is characterized by an age limit. In Indonesia, the competency of a person before the law has been specified in Laws or Acts.


The problem is, Indonesia has many laws that govern the subject of adulthood, so it is questionable, in the case when a person is deemed as to become  an adult before the law in conducting a legal action, especially in conducting private legal action.


Now let us see the richness and heterogeneity of our laws regulating the age of adulthood before the law:

  1. Art. 330 Civil Code, is 21 years old or married;
  2. Art. 145 (1) No. 3 HIR, as witness is 15 years old;
  3. Art. 47 (1) Law no. 1 / 1974 on Marriage, is 18 years old;
  4. Art. 1 (2) of Law 4 / 1979 on the Welfare of the Child: 21 years-old or has not and has never been married;
  5. Art. 1 (1) of Law 23/2002 on Child Protection, 18 years old;
  6. Art.1 (26) Law 13/2003, on Manpower, the children are before 18 years old;
  7. Art.7 Law 23/2003 on the Election of President and Vice-President, the right to elect is the 17 years old;
  8. Art. 39 and 40 of Law 30/2004 on Notary, 18 years old to appear before the notary as a witness;
  9. Art. 63 (1) Law no. 23/2006 about Population Administration, 17 years old or already married;
  10. Art.14 (1) Act 2 / 2008 on Political Parties, political party members shall already 17 years old;
  11. Art. 19 (1) of Law 10/2008 on General Elections Members of Parliament, Council and Parliament, 17 years old or already married;


From the above descriptions, see how "wealthy" Indonesia with its  adult age limitation, so natural that the question arises, when is a person considered as an adult so that he/she can take legal action?


In the opinion of the author, after the enactment of Law Number 30 Year 2004 concerning Notary, i.e. as already stipulated in Article 39 and Article 40 of the Act that the boundary condition “appear before the notary” and age as a witness before the Notary is 18 years. A person shall be considered as an adult before the law if he/she has attained 18 years of age.


Kukuh K. Hadiwidjojo