The International Congress «Aporophobia and Criminal Law» took place on 28 and 29 May 2022 at the Fonseca Library in Salamanca. It was characterised by a wide-ranging and intense discussion on the criminal justice system and its aporophobic manifestations. The aim was to present concrete proposals (interpretative or legislative reform) on all the topics that have been worked on over the last three years. The ultimate objective is to produce a document that can be sent to the legislator and to the different justice operators.

As for the development of the congress, the inaugural speech by Prof. Dr. Terradillos Basoco laid the foundations of the problem around which the project revolves, i.e. the unequal application of criminal law on the most economically disadvantaged people. Prof. Dr. García Laso then illustrated with an economic analysis of inequality.

The following roundtables debated proposals for an anti-apporophobic interpretation of the general part of criminal law, covering such wide-ranging issues as the recently included aggravating circumstance of discrimination due to «aporophobia and social exclusion», the incorporation of a mitigating circumstance of poverty, the problem of the state of necessity in drug trafficking, and the exoneration of alteration of perception in article 20.3 of the Criminal Code.

Criminal proceedings and the enforcement of sentences were also discussed. On the one hand, mitigating circumstances based on economic factors were discussed, and on the other hand, issues related to penitentiary law. Other specific topics were also discussed, such as the expulsion of foreigners. Likewise, the special part of criminal law was the table with the most content, occupying a large part of the seminar. Some of the topics dealt with were: poor migrant women as victims of crime, environmental justice, child-parental violence, the protection of vulnerable workers, the criminalisation of «top manta», the crime of peaceful occupation of real estate, hate speech and plutophilia.

Finally, the Law on Citizen Security was addressed in a multidisciplinary way. While the criminological perspective concluded that more empirical analysis was needed in order to understand the real scope of criminality, legal professionals advocated a reform of the law in relation to the treatment of public protest and prostitution.

The results of the seminar were in the form of a policy brief, with corresponding interpretative and reform proposals, as well as guidance for legislators and justice operators. These will be brought together in a collective work. Its publication will be announced shortly.

A few pictures of the Congress…