Can the Spanish Parliament Introduce the Following New Article to the Spanish Penal Code: "Whoever Chews a Gum in a Public Place, Shall Be Punished with a Sentence of Imprisonment of Two Months to Six Months"

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Submitted By Hermiona26
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Pages 4
Assignment 1:

Can the Spanish Parliament introduce the following new article to the Spanish Penal Code: "Whoever chews a gum in a public place, shall be punished with a sentence of imprisonment of two months to six months"

Vivian Mohr
Criminal Law I
BBA and LLB, IE University
29th January 2016
1. A commonly accepted definition of a crime is that it is any act or omission, which results in a punishment. Under this definition, public gum-chewing would become a crime as soon as the Parliament passed the law in question. Since this crime is a minor criminal act, it would be classified as a misdemeanor and not as a felony.

2. Since most of crimes fall into either a category of property crimes or violent crimes, we can intuitively understand why law prohibits certain acts. They represent danger for the public, as they can result in injury or damage. A crime of chewing a gum in a public place can be hardly justified with the same logic. The act is not particularly dangerous and, at worst, it can annoy other people (yet, society could not function properly if all irritating actions would be classified as crimes). A purpose of legislators could be keeping streets cleaner – many chew gums are spitted on the floor – but in that case, littering itself should be punishable, not merely the act of chewing. 3. Members of Parliament are elected in order to make new legislation, which can cover virtually any matter, as long as the law complies with the Spanish Constitution. However, decisions of the Parliament are democratically legitimate only if they reflect the will and opinion of the majority of population (in this case, it is hard to see why public would believe that public gum-chewing is a crime). 4. Article 10 of the Spanish Constitution states that the human dignity and the fundamental rights should be…...

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