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Reform of the Spanish Penal Code will review the crime of sedition and rebellion

The Penal Code is the legal and fundamental instrument in which the substantive norms that protect the legal assets of the nation and the State are contemplated, that is to say, in addition to containing the punitive norms and specifying the criminal liabilities that must be assumed by those who incur in any of the typified crimes, its main purpose is the protection of these assets. 

Its reforms are mainly due to the principle of progressivity, i.e., that from time to time, countries must review and evaluate this regulatory framework, with the intention of adjusting it to their reality and to the international legal commitments that have been signed.

In Spain, the reform initiative has been proposed by the executive branch. and as a priority along with the new education law.

Its president -Pedro Sánchez- has argued that the Penal Code is not adjusted to the times the nation is going through and that, for example, it does not contemplate offenses comparable to those occurring in the rest of Europe.

Controversy surrounding the proposed reform of the Spanish penal code

Among the aspects that have been proposed in the revision and that have generated the most controversy is the reform of the crimes of sedition and rebellion.taking into account that the change could considerably reduce the sentence imposed by the Spanish Supreme Court in October 2019 to the leaders of the Procés case for sedition and embezzlement of public funds. The lowering of the charges applied could be effective due to the principle of indubio pro reo, which exceptionally operates the retroactivity of the criminal law by being more favorable to the defendant. It is also being considered that by reducing the penalties for sedition, embezzlement will become the main crime to be disqualified from holding public office.

Sedition is criminalized in Article 544 of the current Penal Code. as a crime of disturbing the public order. It contemplates the penalty for those who rise up publicly and in a tumultuous manner to impede, by force or outside the legal mechanisms, the application of measures or the legitimate exercise of the functions of a public official. Sedition establishes a penalty of between four to eight years of imprisonment. imprisonment, which can be up to 10 years for the leaders or 15 years for the authorities who incur in these actions.

On the other hand, the reform seems to include an evaluation of the crime of rebellion. to toughen their punishment. So far, those sentenced under the crime of rebellion can face a maximum penalty of up to 25 years in prison. To be identified, it is necessary to demonstrate the use of violence affecting others or the national patrimony.

There is still no clear proposal on the aspects that could be modified in the Code.The issue is still in the initial stages of discussion. Several sectors, such as the freedom of communication and press, have joined the initiative with the intention of adjusting the criminal legal framework to the situations experienced in the country regarding these issues.

At Alan Aldana & Abogados, our specialists in criminal law, are in favor of reforms that are always in favor of the protection and protection of legal assets and are adapted with fair proportionality and dosimetry to the demands of society.

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