These planned changes are included in the latest version of the draft reform of the penal code, which the cabinet could approve this month. The law would then begin to be passed by parliament, where the ruling People`s Party currently has an absolute majority. Score: 1186. Exactly: 1186. Tiempo de respuesta: 424 ms. The inclusion of the minimum age of 16 was a last-minute change proposed by the Ministry of Health. When the first draft reform was presented by the Ministry of Justice and approved last October, the age was set at 15. Spain currently has one of the lowest ages of consent in Europe. The United Nations has asked Spain to increase it by 13. In most European countries, it is higher at 14, 15 or 16 years. That is, if the sex was consensual and the age difference was not very great, no crime would be committed.
But the decision on this difference would ultimately rest with a judge. But that leaves some questions unanswered: For example, could an 18-year-old man who has consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl be reported to the police for abuse by his parents and sentenced to 12 years in prison? An article included in the new law suggests that this is not the case. “The juvenile`s free consent would exclude criminal responsibility for the offences contained in this section if the perpetrator is a person close to the victim in terms of age, development or maturity,” the article states. The current Minister of Justice, Alberto Ruiz-Gallard, is responsible for setting the age at 15 in the first round of the reform project. But in May this year, Health Minister Ana Mato proposed an age of 16. Mato also announced that the minimum age of marriage in Spain would be raised from 14 to 16 in an amendment to the Civil Code. The above-mentioned prison sentences for minor sexual intercourse offences are not modified by the current legislation covering “sexual abuse and assault of minors”. What will change, however, is that the consent of a minor will not be taken into account: any sexual relationship with a young person under the age of 16 will be punishable by imprisonment. In 2009, under the socialist government of Prime Minister José© Luis Rodráguez Zapatero, all political parties in Congress unanimously agreed to raise the age of consent, although they did not agree on the final figure. Although the government accepted the amendment to the law, it never prospered.