25 June 2004
MADRID — The Spanish government passed a draft bill Friday to crackdown on domestic violence despite criticism from an authoritative legal body.
The Socialist administration decided to pass the bill without changing its “spirit or philosophy”.
But the General Council of the Judiciary had said the bill was “unconstitutional”.
It said the bill discriminated in favour of women and did not consider other victims of domestic violence like children, men and pensioners.
The government does not have to change legislation after reports from the Council.
However, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, the Justice Minister, said the government would approve the bill in “spirit and philosophy”.
The bill would set up specialised judiciary dedicated to dealing with domestic violence cases, increase jail terms for those convicted of attacks and improve protection for women who alleged they were the victim of violence from their partners.
Aguilar added that apart from the criticism of the Council, four other reports from other organisations were “very favourable”.
He also said that though a majority of judges on the Council voted against the bill, it was not a unanimous vote against its proposals.
The other reports were from the Economic and Social Council, the Attorney General’s Council, the Scholastic Council and the Council of State.
But Aguilar said that these reports did suggest ways in which the bill could be improved.
One report said that the bill should provide better protection for children caught up in domestic violence cases.
It added that it should refer explicitly to women as victims – to avoid criticism that the bill would only protect them and not other victims.
Enrique López, spokesman of the General Council, said the bill was “not at fault for what it included but for what it left out”.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news