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'Indefinite' jail terms may be scrapped with Penal Code reform
16 October 2014 @ 09:56

SPAIN'S new justice minister is considering scrapping the concept of 'permanent prison subject to review'.

Rafael Catalá, who took over from Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón after the latter resigned last month, has already been told his plans are 'too ambitious' given that there are only 13 months left until the general elections, but says he is working out a 'realistic timetable' to guide him.

These plans include reforming the Penal Code, passing the Law of Criminal Judgment (LeCrim) and Law of Judicial Power (LOPJ), launching a new Mercantile Code and handing over management of the Civil Registry to the Registrars themselves rather than keeping it as part of judges' role, since he considers this to be unnecessary and bureaucratic.

Catalá also wants to start debate about criminal charges and sentencing for power-dealing and other forms of corruption, and exercise greater control over who has diplomatic immunity - currently held by over 17,000 people in Spain including judges, politicians and members of the Royal family.

He has not confirmed that the concept of indefinite prison 'subject to review' will be scrapped, but this is among the ideas he is considering for the Penal Code reform.

Whilst it 'does indeed have a place' in Spain's 'legal culture' when associated with 'certain crimes' – undefined – Catalá intends to float the suggestion and see whether he gets a consensus either way.


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