The Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, has defended this Wednesday in various interviews in the media that the reform of the ‘only yes is yes’ law promoted by her department is the “only viable technical solution” to “shield the rights of the victims” after the sentence reductions of hundreds of sexual offenders, including twenty releases, which have occurred since the entry into force last October of the current regulation of sexual crimes.
Llop disrupts the strategy of the PSOE against Podemos to reform the law of ‘only yes is yes’
Llop has reiterated that the initiative presented by the Socialists “does not touch consent” and maintains the “unified model” of crimes, but has insisted that “what is more serious must be punished with a greater penalty.” His proposal establishes a gradation of the penalties depending on whether there has been violence, intimidation or annulment of the will. Before the ‘only yes is yes’ law, the existence of these elements determined that a conduct was considered abuse (less serious) or aggression (more serious).
This counter-reform has triggered the tension of the coalition when the minority partner understands that it supposes an amendment to the entire criminal part of the law, which is one of the star projects of the department directed by Irene Montero (Podemos). Both teams have tried for weeks to negotiate an agreed exit that has finally not been possible. It remains to be seen if there will be any rapprochement in the parliamentary process, although the positions are very far apart. Equality’s thesis is that adding violence and intimidation as part of a subtype of sexual assault undermines the heart of the norm.
After having accused his Podemos partners on Tuesday of trying to “confuse public opinion”, Llop has tried to tone down his latest public interventions. “I assume full responsibility in the first person”, he has said in relation to the “undesired effects” of the reform, which translate into the aforementioned reductions in sentences. “I am in the Government, I defend this text, I defend the law. And because of the responsibility that I have and because of the technical responsibility that the Ministry of Justice has, I assume that now what has to be done is to find a solution to a serious problem that is affecting the lives of the victims and their environment”, he said at first glance. hour in The Ana Rosa Program (Telecinco).
Barely two hours later, in another interview in Red Hot (La Sexta), Llop has confirmed that this Tuesday she did not speak in the Council of Ministers with the also ministers and leaders of Podemos Irene Montero and Ione Belarra, who during the day accused her of defending “the Penal Code of ‘the herd'” .
“I arrived a little late because I came from another place. There was no opportunity to have a space to speak. But we speak normally, ”said the head of Justice, who has also avoided going into a direct clash with her cabinet mates for those statements. On the other hand, she has revealed that this morning she has spoken with the head of the Executive, Pedro Sánchez. “The president has already stated it publicly. We are solving a problem ”, she insisted.
The minister has also avoided distributing blame within the Executive for what she considers a “very serious problem.” “The truth is that I don’t know”, she has responded to the question of whether it was Justice or Equality who designed the sentence ranges that she now proposes to change to avoid lower sentences in the future. And she has turned her gaze to the legislative Chambers. “Laws come out of Parliament, proposals are made by the proposing ministries and then they are approved by Parliament, where these things have to be analyzed. No one thought this could happen. We have detected it when the revisions have occurred ”, she has said. Llop was appointed Minister of Justice in July 2021, days after the law was approved in the second round in the Council of Ministers and she has held that portfolio during its parliamentary process and its subsequent approval.
Llop has denied the Government delegate against Gender Violence, Victoria Rosell, who warned of a “second wave” of reduced sentences if the PSOE proposal is approved. According to the minister, there will continue to be reviews of old cases, but not of new ones because the reviews occur when the new sentences are more favorable for the prisoner and her proposal raises them.
After several weeks away from the spotlight, the head of Justice has conducted five interviews in just 24 hours. In these interventions, Llop has also tried to explain, among other issues, why the Government has taken three months to provide a “solution” to the “very serious problem” of reduced sentences for sex offenders. She has assured that the Executive “has not stopped working” since the first sentence that had been revised down was learned but that it has been “technically very complex” to give one with a “viable solution.”
The minister has also defended the ‘only yes is yes’ law as a good instrument that comprehensively addresses all aspects of sexual violence and has circumscribed the “problem” to a small part related to the forks of sentences. In this sense, the head of Justice has stated that her department is reinforcing the victim assistance offices and the Comprehensive Forensic Assessment Units (UVFI) and that she is also working to expand the free legal assistance law to provide a better response to victims of sexual crimes.