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President's speech


The Cultural Essence of Society

Italy, 28-11-2002 / 4-12-2002

Dear President Madame Rozès, dear colleagues and dear friends:

Being a candidate to preside over a scientific society like SIDS is a personal impertinence, that there can be no other justification than that those who run the association have more faith in the candidate than the candidate himself.

Pretend to be the successor of personalities of the human and scientific category of Gramatica, by Marc Ancel, by Madame Simone Rozès, pretend to preside over colleagues who are for me my teachers like Hans Heinrich Jeschec, Klaus Tiedemann, Giuliano Vassalli, Mario Pisani, and of such illustrious colleagues as those who accompany us in the life of the Society, has no justification, but only one mitigation of guilt and, Thus, wait, of sorrow.

Despite this, I want to reciprocate those who mistakenly have faith in me and for this I want to express my conception of the Societé, in the context of the history of penal sciences and their organizations, and the idea I have of the role that the Society can play in the future, to finish my words, with some ideas about the organization needed for the new tasks.

1. The cultural essence of the Society

If we had to choose a single adjective to designate the contribution of our Social Defense Society to the modern evolution of the Law and Criminal Science I think I can say that the Society has been the Society of resocialization. The idea of ​​resocialization, after the conceptual elaboration from positivism, represented above all in the first phase by Gramatica, has been situated between criminology and positive law by Marc Ancel in the years 60 and with the company and help of the singular personality of Petro Nuvolone, firmly established within the framework of the guarantees of the Rule of law. It is the personal work of a handful of criminalists very focused on France and Italy, after the 2nd World War, to which colleagues from Germany were soon able to approach with great ease, since, with other epistemological foundations, this work of grammar, Marc Ancel- Nuvolone arrives at postulates similar to those enunciated by the greatest penalist in European history who was Franz Vonz Liszt..

I actually think that Social Defense is a historical manifestation and singular of the movement that began at the end of the 19th century Prins, Van Hammel y V. Lizst. I believe that all the four great associations belong to that same impulse, which is what explains the coincidence of so many personalities in more than one of these organizations and the coordinated work between both. It can be said that the Penal and Penitentiary Foundation and the International Society of Criminology are specialized organizations for your object, the penitentiary object and the sociology and psychology of crime. The AIDP and the Social Defense Society are general criminal organizations, but the AIDP limits its work to the legal-criminal level, and the Social Defense Society is the scientific society that integrates methods and objects, especially after the addendum to the Minimum Program carried out in 1984, and if you allow me to resort to categories of political and constitutional law, the SIDS would be the most expressive organization of criminal law of the social and democratic State of Law, legal concept, political and social long gestated in the European space and that we Spaniards have received mature when with so much delay, just like portugal, we have achieved Democracy and we have endowed ourselves with constitutions.

At the same time, and as Marc Ancel always insisted, as the Societé has not been nor wanted to be a closed ideological program, but the minimum program of a Movement, the Company has been able to develop throughout the world and with all penalists belonging to or interested in our cultural traditions, whatever the continent or continental space in which it is located.

The Societé de Defensa Social is the organization of the Jur formsídicas and of the contents of the criminal behavior and of the own criminal reaction of the social and democratic States of Law, we are the movement of the polícriminal ethics of this standard of political organizationíethical and social.

2.2. The new social and political phenomena of criminal relevance

The postulates of our movement are today the common heritage of positive criminal law in many countries of the world., and in any case programmatic heritage of contemporary criminal lawyers from around the world and I think, thus, that it is worth being optimistic and thanking our predecessors for a job well done. But neither has the end of the story come in criminal law..

It is quite true that the overcoming politics of blocks has opened, especially in Eastern European countries - from Warsaw to Vladivostock- incredible possibilities and paths very recently for a humanistic and democratic criminal Policy.

It is also quite true that for the first time in modern history all of Latin America lives in freedom and democracy., although important sectors of the population still live in miserable conditions. It is also true that the great giant that is China has begun to awaken. It's true, is grounded, it pays to be optimistic. The creation, with all its limitations, of the TPT is the greatest political-legal achievement after the Declaration of Human Rights on 1945, and, is also cause for optimism.

But it is equally true that a great historical problem remains, which is that of poverty and economic underdevelopment of a large part of the world population and that new problems have also arisen, that I allow myself to state without hierarchizing.

– The Arab-Muslim world that was walking slowly from tradition to modernity has been surprised on that path, mainly as a result of underdevelopment and poverty, by an imposing irruption of what we call, with too much synthesis, the islamist fundamentalism, with all that that means Setback or paralysis in General Policy and in Criminal Policy.

- At the same time, the events of 11 September have given renewed impetus to conservative tendencies in criminal policy in the most powerful country in the world, in the U.S. That this conservative trend predates the 11 of September is clearly expressed in that the United States has vigorously opposed the creation of the International Criminal Court. Behind the 11 of September, the pendular criminal policy of the United States has decided firmly on the “law” (law and order) and this time with international projection. His expression is, also in a reductionist way, Guantánamo, the militarization of criminal justice also, the threat of continuing that criminal policy -by other means-, in the Clausewitzian sense, namely, through war, including preventive war.

– The third phenomenon is the product of economic globalization, namely, the great mobility not only of capital, flowing freely, but of human beings, the great migratory movements. This phenomenon, of historical tradition, but that acquires its own forms and characteristics in the current globalization, poses two problems. First, as a consequence of restrictions on freedom of movement to developed countries, poses the problem of human trafficking, and in shapes “modern” from labor slavery, sexual exploitation and fraud in immigration action. At the same time, the concentration in receiving countries of such a large number of people from other very different cultures, raises the problem of multiculturalism, and with him two criminal problems, On the one hand, the duty of tolerance and the fight against cultural discrimination, racial and religious and against xenophobia and, for other, at once, that of the penal limits of the tolerance of cultural diversity. Expressed again in a reductionist way. Should the genital mutilation of women belonging to this culture be criminally tolerated in Barcelona or Berlin?? Should we try to end these behaviors beyond Barcelona or Berlin?. Can we be tolerant of the stoning of the adulterous woman in Nigerie? But, is that can we be tolerant with mistreatment of women, within western culture itself? Is it that the male chauvinistic culturalism that remains in Europe and within traditional European culture is a phenomenon “socially appropriate”? Is it that the response to this intra-European phenomenon deserves only a repressive response, or we must draw preventive consequences in substantive and procedural criminal law to fight against this phenomenon hidden until recently in the dark figure of crime? What would be the criminal policy, preventive, repressive and compensatory, against these hidden forms of criminality?.

Three new phenomena resulting from globalization and its positive dimension for Human Rights deserve to be mentioned:

- The creation of the International Criminal Court to ensure the prosecution of the most serious crimes, that generalizes and unifies the ad hoc Tribunals of recent years.

– La rregionalization of justice criminal law in the space of the current European Union and the enlarged one between 2004 and 2006, especially after the remarkable boost produced by the Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and surrender procedures between Member States.

- The enlargement of the Council of Europe from Reikawick to Vladivostok and, so, the incorporation of all member countries into the legal heritage of Human Rights of the Strasbourg Court, with its procedural criminal dimension, but also substantive.

Of the relationship of the new social and legal-criminal phenomena that I have exposed in a summarized and incomplete way, most of which were not present - at least in their current dimension- at the time of the revision of our Minimum Program in 1984, it is possible to extract the list of new tasks that the Social Defense movement must address to continue promoting our humanist criminal policy. could be formulated like this:

3. Job proposals for the Society:

3.1. In the space of the European Union, neither our organization nor any other historical organization has proposed itself as an advisory or consulting organization. It was not necessary at all until the famous judgment of the Greek corn case of 1989. But given the evolution of events related to both the protection of financial interests of the Union and, above all, after the Convention on judicial assistance in criminal matters of the year 2000 and of the Decision-framework of the Euro-order of 2002, as well as after the Framework Decisions of this year on Organized Crime and Personnel Trafficking as well as, with the creation of erojust, la International Society for Social Defense has a opportunity to offer to cooperate with the EU. Outside of the inter-ministerial relations of Justice and the Interior, there is no wider criminal network than ours.. Our activity at this point should be able to include it in one of the European programs that promote investigation in criminal matters.

3.2. The entry into force of the Convention that creates the International Criminal Court has already produced a revolution in the dedication of jurists around the world. It is enough to see the number and dimension of the scientific meetings on the subject and the number of doctoral and monographic theses. In our capacity as an advisory institution of United Nations we must put ourselves at your disposal and, In any case, we must set a role in the development of the scientific construction of the rules of responsibility and imputation., that risk developing from legal cultures that do not have the experience and wisdom of ours.

3.3. Also worthy of attention is the process of incorporating new countries into the legal heritage of the Council of Europe and tracking issues, deficit, training needs, etc.

3.4. Attention must also be paid to processes of regionalization of Human rights, with criminal legal consequences. For example, the democratization process of Ibero-American countries provides new strength to the Court of Costa Rica, whose sentences oblige in times of democracy, as we Spaniards have been able to experience after our subjection to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Strasbourg first, and that of Luxembourg after.

3.5. At the same time, before the criminal political impulses after the 11 September, it is our obligation, especially in response to our Minimum Program, to become a permanent observatory of criminal policy that watches over undesirable reactions that are incompatible with our ideology. All this without prejudice to contributing to the knowledge of the new forms of terrorism and the necessarily new ways of combating it..

3.6. Los problems linked to the relationship between crime and immigration have become capital problems of the electoral political debate of the European continent, usually in the worst of ways: manipulating the few criminological data and with a tendency to prevail xenophobic reactions. We should try to carry out a permanent analysis of surveys and rationally ordered data to have the truth and propose rational alternatives for intervention and prevention, what constitutes a multidisciplinary subject so appropriate to our association.

3.7. The question of the human trafficking, as such, and that oriented to labor or sexual exploitation also requires the attention of an organization like ours, in the dimension in which we have previously given our care to drug or arms trafficking. our dimension “social” our adjective, It is well suited to focus on the social phenomenon that gives rise to migratory phenomena and the opportunity to organized crime..

3.8. The question of multiculturalism, both within the societies of the metropolis or spaces of concentration of cultures and between societies and States in their orderly international coexistence equally deserves our attention. The importance of the Muslim world and, what's more, the way it is presented, particularly when in public opinion the minority and extreme expressions are presented with more force, requires work on our part of mutual understanding between criminal lawyers, and support for criminal practitioners in the Muslim world integrated or integrable in the program of a humanist criminal policy. We have suffered a setback in this field of scientific relations that we have to overcome. From the dialogue we could get, On one side, overcome Western complacency and, for other, also define precisely what we believe we can identify with what cannot be renounced for human dignity.

4. A way to organize ourselves to tackle new tasks

Solo those without history lack the drive to reorganize for the future, and I'm sure that was what he wanted to draw our attention to Mme. Rozès by placing his position at the disposal of the general assembly. We and our way of working come from a time characterized by the difficulty and cost of travel and by a communication system limited to ordinary mail.. It's more, most of us have formed our conception of the world before the age of television. The email, the Internet, video conferences were not even science fiction at the time of our foundation. At the same time, although we have acted wanting to be a world organization, our everyday territory has been too European.

I wish to propose two organizational modes new or renovated.

First of all we must, On one side, regionalize our work and, for other theme the same.

In relation to the first, we must try to equip ourselves with a structure appropriate to the needs of the European Union as well as the Council of Europe from Reykjavík to Vladinovok. It is also feasible to promote the regionalization of Ibero-America if we reinforce the incorporation of new members. Other objectives of this type could be proposed later.

Secondly, we can't think we can develop our commitment with general congresses every five years. The world is not waiting for us. Conversely, the five-year meeting has to be an opportunity to review the five-year action. To act permanently we should organize thematic committees, that cover at least the issues that I have listed as modern issues. If this is accepted, we should deal with an action program at a future Board of Directors.

In third place, it is not possible to act permanently without resort to new technologies. Of course the email but above all the following: build on the paper structure that must continue from the “Notebooks” a digital structure of information and communication, a website, that includes and makes available to everyone the entire collection of cahiers, thematic channels, the publication of “papers” thereof, etc. It is something apparently complex but at the same time so simple that I think it is what I can guarantee that I can put at your disposal as seriously as my own commitment to work for the Societé.

Finally, our predecessors have come a long way and with exemplary intelligence in coordination with the other three associations. In this new stage we must increase that cooperation.

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