chapter  22
18 Pages


ByManuel Cancio Meliá, Ana Garrocho Salcedo

Spanish criminal law is among several systems devised around the principle of legality. Consequently, no customary definition exists, via case law, of the various offences; these are established through legislation. The Penal Code describes three forms of principal: direct individual principal, joint principals and autoria mediata. Spanish law addresses situations similar to those described under joint criminal enterprise from two different levels. The latter option comes from an excessively formal understanding of the principle of accessoriness regarding the secondary participation, while the second option appears to safeguard more adequately the punishment of personal violations effectively carried out. In Spain, the addition of criminal liability for legal entities was introduced through the reform of the PC via Organic Law 5/2010, of June 22. Hence, in certain circumstances, liability may be based on the intentional or negligent non-prevention by superiors of crimes committed by their subordinates.