Spain's Attorney General against automatic sentence reductions for sexual offenders

Loophole in new 'only yes means yes' law being exploited to lower jail time

International Women's Day march in Tarragona, March 8, 2020 (by Mar Rovira)
International Women's Day march in Tarragona, March 8, 2020 (by Mar Rovira) / ACN

ACN | @agenciaacn | Madrid

November 21, 2022 07:33 PM

Spain's attorney general has come out against reducing penalties for sexual offenders when their sentence "is also liable to be imposed in accordance with the new legal framework." 

That new legal framework is the 'only yes means yes' legislation, which came into effect in early October and appeared to be a promising step forward in the fight for women's rights, but which caused outrage as it has become apparent that certain offenders are using a loophole to try to have their sentences reduced

In a decree issued on Monday, the attorney general said that it does not advocate lowering sentences automatically to the new minimums if they are compatible with the current range of sentencing of the new law. 

The statement comes after controversial sentence reductions made by some courts. 

The head of the Prosecution Ministry says that "each procedure will have to be analyzed individually, avoiding automatic changes that impede the assessment of the specific circumstances of each case."

A review will proceed "when the penalty effectively imposed exceeds in abstract what would be appropriate to impose in application of the principles of the new criminal legislation, in accordance with the guidelines offered," the decree states. 

The controversy over the implementation of the new legislation has led to calls for Irene Montero, the equality minister who championed the law, to resign