Croatia: Government moves to legalise incest
Zagreb, 27 May (AKI) - Croatia is drafting a bill to legalise incest between consenting adults in the predominantly Catholic country, local media said on Thursday. Under the draft bill, adult sexual relations between brother and sister, father and daughter and mother and son would no longer be a criminal offence if they are entered into voluntarily.
A group of prominent jurists, professors and lawyers were working on the bill, but it was too early to say whether, or when, it would be tabled in parliament, Zagreb daily Vecernji reported.
“It is an open question whether the time is ripe to free adults from criminal responsibility for such behaviour,” said doctor Velinka Grozdanic, a member of the task group.
But Ksenija Turkovic, a Zagreb University law professor and head of the group, said that legislation in many European countries was moving towards legalising incest.
She said incest has been legal in France for over 200 years, but recent legalisation moves in Germany have failed.
“If an adult brother and sister willingly indulge in sex, who is the victim that should be protected,” Turkovic asked.
“There is no victim, only public morality is violated."
Prominent Catholic commentator Zivko Kustic said that the abolition of punishment was not necessarily tantamount to approval.
“One should make a distinction between punishment and approval,” Kustic said.
“If the state decides not to punish something, it doesn’t mean that it considers it good or decent."