Almost three months after cutting sex offenders’ sentences, the government has finally decided to change the yes-is-yes law, though it still doesn’t know how to do it. The Executive is aware that they cannot stop this process because the convicts can use the current version of the law already in force, no matter how much it is changed, but has decided to make changes to “remove those identified in the Problems to be solved in the future,” reads a note. Moncloa officials. This applies to the trials conducted under the new law, not the revisions to penalties with previous norms.
It is not yet known how he will do it and it does not seem easy, but what is there is a political decision by President Pedro Sánchez to do something to stop the image bleeding for the progressive government in a very sensitive way stop matter causing this problem which has become the center of opposition criticism.
Sánchez has thus forced Irene Montero, who has resisted this change for weeks, thinking that she cannot find a viable solution. The Minister for Equality publicly rejected this possibility on several occasions, until La Moncloa officially confirmed it. In fact, after La Moncloa’s note, sources from Podemos, Montero’s party, admit that a solution is being worked on, but they took it upon themselves to point out that “to date, there is still no agreement on a valid solution,” adding She adds that “the PSOE is under pressure to return to the previous model and that consent is no longer the center of the penal code”, reports Paula Chouza. The message seems obvious: Sánchez and his team have decided to do something now – as La Vanguardia announced this Saturday – and Montero has accepted the president’s order but still doesn’t see how to apply it, showing his restraint.
The government knew it had to do something in the face of the spate of sentence cuts and layoffs that application of the only yes-is-yes law has caused since last November. Although the public and unified position of the coalition partners was a united defense of the norm – “the law is solid”, reiterate the two sectors of the executive – the official communication from La Moncloa indicates that “since the first judicial decisions, It will worked very seriously and rigorously to ensure that this does not happen again and to resolve the issues identified in the future”.
In any case, the executive knows that the cracks in the criminal law part of the text can no longer be repaired: as soon as the law comes into force, nothing can be done, cuts and layoffs can no longer be stopped. The reason is the fundamental principle that prevents the retrospective application of a law that harms the prisoner. And so, while the penalties are now being modified upwards, this change only affects those who commit crimes after the new reform comes into effect. Justice Minister Pilar Llop had already influenced this last Friday.
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Both Llop last week and at other times Equality Minister and now Government sources acknowledge the “undesirable effects” the law has had. “We recognize and share the societal concerns surrounding this issue. Dealing responsibly with this situation requires careful attention as it is complex from a technical point of view.” They assure that the change will be agreed between the government partners “mutually” and that the text that will be drafted for the change will be ready “soon”. . The Popular Party again this Saturday called on Sánchez to change the norm and offered the support of his formation. “The votes of the PP in the two chambers are available to the government to change the law; it doesn’t need Podemos or anyone, just common sense,” its secretary-general, Cuca Gamarra, said in an act in Burgos.
The official communication from La Moncloa tries to avoid the image of a conflict between partners and leaves the management in the hands of Equality at all times. But the tensions of recent weeks are undeniable, and Montero’s opposition to the socialist sector’s desire to do something has been very apparent. “We are aware of this situation and together we want to help resolve it, working hand in hand with the Minister for Equality at all times,” the note added. The how is not yet defined. You cannot “dictate” what will happen next; whether it affects the criminal part of the law – for example increasing the penalties – or whether it makes adjustments to the other provisions.
A formula that would mean completely removing the spirit of the law that has just emerged from the social outcry over the La Manada case, so that justice does not settle the difference between abuse and aggression based on the violence and intimidation of the aggressors would commit the crime, that is, after the resistance of the attacked women.
In an election year, the main norm for protecting women in the past 20 years, under the Gender Violence Act 2004, has turned against the executive branch itself, through the sieve that the party has become a punishment of that text. Although the government knows that this structural problem cannot be solved at the moment, it intends to try to limit the consequences in the future.
Already this Friday, Montero, who was reluctant to touch the law from the outset because he attributes what is happening to an incorrect application and not to a gap in the text, hinted that work is being done to perfect it, confirm government sources.
At a press conference after the second meeting of the crisis team for the sexist murders that have taken place so far in January, Montero was asked about the statements made by former Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena, the president of Navarre, and the socialist María Chivite. and Madrid mayoral candidate Rita Maestre from Más Madrid, who have been talking about the need for a change in the law in recent days. The minister maintained the position: “We will not make any assessment of these statements, the law of the only yes is solid and comprehensive and allows the state for the first time and in a pioneering way, as the European Parliament itself is recognising, to provide the comprehensive protection.” , to which women victims of sexual violence have a right”.
However, he qualified that they were “working” on a “correct application” of the norm: “Logically, we share the concern that Spanish society also has for such court decisions to reduce penalties that do not even comply with the decree of the public prosecutor’s office [el fiscal general del Estado, Álvaro García Ortiz, instó a los fiscales a oponerse “por norma general” a las rebajas de penas cuando el castigo impuesto con la anterior ley estuviera dentro de los previstos para ese delito en la nueva norma] nor with the law of yes-is-yes and the spirit and will of the legislator, and of course, precisely because it concerns us, we are also busy doing all that is in our power and all that is necessary. We have spent months doing whatever is necessary to ensure the correct application of the yes-is-yes law and will continue to do so,” he stressed.
The law for the comprehensive guarantee of sexual freedom, the so-called Yes-is-Yes law, came into force on October 7th. The goal that when assessing sexual violence, the focus is no longer on the victim’s resistance, but on the consent of the women, expressed freely and clearly.
For this, the abuse disappeared and everything was united in aggression. The range of penalties has been expanded to include all possibilities in a single type (aggression), punishing from the lightest to the most severe. Section revisions have lowered some of the minimums – such as penetrative sexual assault from six years to four – and some of the maximums – such as no aggravated sexual assault, which increased from five to four years. These penal code changes brought with them a constitutional and penal code obligation to convicted offenders: to accept the penal revisions requested by inmates who may benefit from the new law.
The “work” that Montero claims to have been doing for months began in mid-November, when the first sentence reductions and the first releases after sentencing began. So the government’s first reaction was to threaten to change the norm because of “undesirable effects”; but Equality closed in volume, attributing the cuts to an incorrect, incomplete, and sexist reading of the law. The executive branch decided to wait for the Supreme Court to unify the criteria, hoping that it would do so along the same lines as prosecutors. However, the Supreme Court has already approved the cuts half a dozen times. Dismissals are already reaching 20 and there are nearly 300 sentence reductions.
Spokespersons from all ministries involved – equality, justice and home affairs – and all other state agencies have reiterated that these consequences of the law’s entry into force “were not the will of the legislature”. But those implications have led to surprise and social unrest, attacks from opposition in parliament – Vox’s Carla Toscano went so far as to call Montero a “rapist liberator” in the chamber – and tensions between coalition partners, particularly between Equality and the socialist part of the executive branch, which have also already dragged on the internal struggle that caused the so-called trans-law.
Despite these tensions within the coalition, a bloc defense of the law has been maintained by both partners over the past two months. A necessary unity for a government that faces local and regional elections this year and parliamentary elections shortly thereafter.