I impart a curious course in the first year of the Law degree, which did not exist when I was a student, which is entitled “Basic skills of the lawyer”, in which we analyze current news from the legal point of view every week, to, as I say to my students, develop the ‘legal nose‘, just as doctors develop the ‘clinical eye‘ examining patients.
Well, this Thursday was the day of the final exam of this subject and I proposed to my students that they choose some of the most relevant news of this week to analyze the possible legal aspects that they could have (they all have them) and most of them were inclined to analyze the case of Shakiraagainst a minority that opted for the reform of the Penal Code and the renewal of the Constitutional Court.
The idea is to put the student in the situation of the lawyer who is in his office and who is presented with any case, no matter how crazy it may seem to us, and he has to give his opinion on whether there is a legal matter or if it is, rather, a moral issue and, in the event that there is ‘juridity’ or, rather, ‘illegality‘, analyze its nature, the applicable legislation and possible courses of action.
Freedom of Expression or interference in honor?
The first point on which there has been almost unanimity among future jurists is that the interpreter has every right to say what she wants in her songs because she is protected by the Freedom of expression and the Freedom of artistic creation. But some students have gone further and wondered if anything can be said in a song or if there are limits.
The Constitution itself establishes that the only limit of Freedom of Expression is the Law and, especially, the right to honor, privacy and one’s own image. Therefore, it would be necessary to consider if the lyrics of the song go beyond these limits, established in the Penal Code (crimes against honor) and in the Organic Law of Civil protection of the right to honor, privacy and one’s own image.
The Penal Code defines injury as “the action either expression that injure the dignity of another person, undermining his fame or attacking your own estimate”. But he then clarifies that “they will only constitute crime Insults that, due to their nature, effects and circumstances, are suffered in the public concept for serious”. And the public concept is interpreted by a judge.
But the fact that they are not a crime does not mean that they are legal, because, apart from the criminal offenses (in this case, crimes against honor) are the civil wrongs (or illegitimate interference in the right to honor), regulated in the Organic Law of Civil Protection: “the imputation of facts (false) or the manifestation of value judgments that in any way injure the dignity from someone else.”
We will not reproduce here full lyrics of the songbut we can conclude that there does not seem to be Criminal mattersalthough some of the alluded to (who are perfectly identifiable people) could try to use the civil route to try to get a compensation for illegitimate interference with honor; although in these issues there is no certainty that the demands will prosper.
Where is the best interest of minor children?
On the other hand, some of the students raised another possible legal aspect: and that is that these public reproaches in the form of a song have been made within the framework of a divorce in which, in addition to the couple, there are minor children. And they wondered where the best interest of children and whether this could in any way affect measures on their guard Y custody.
Opinions on social networks and the media tend to focus on the justification of Shakira’s reproaches, for Piqué’s unfair performance, positioning many people in favor, with an intensity worthy of a better cause. But very few pay attention to the damage that listening to the insults that her mother addresses her father at all hours and throughout their lives can do to their children.
It is not a question, I think, of whether he deserves it or not, or who acted badly first and if he also harmed his children with his actions. It is not a “and you more” contest. Everything adds up and everything hurts children. Unfortunately, it is a sight that is often seen in court, where the spouses, locked in their fights, forget that there are some Collateral damage looking at them and listening to them.
Don’t marry a singer…
But Shakira is not the only “practical case” that can be analyzed, because in the history of music there have been many songs dedicated to ex-partners, some with more ‘bad slime’, spite or resentment than others, of simple lack of love. and suffice as examples the famous song of Rocio Jurado “That man” or the one of the Mexican Paquita of the neighborhood: “Two-legged rat”.
In this curious genre It’s fair to admit that women beat men by a landslide, because there aren’t such inspired songs among them. Even though a story few people knowis that the song of Paquita of the neighborhood She did not write it, but a man, Manuel Eduardo Toscano, and she did not dedicate it to her ex-partner, but to the former president of Mexico Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
In any case, it is best don’t marry a singer and, if you get married, don’t think about being disloyal to him, because he will surely dedicate a song to you and your disloyalty or, rather, his version of your disloyalty will be immortalized. But above all, whether in song, verse, or prose, and whether they are famous or anonymous, they should avoid these spectacles for the sake of their children.
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Opinion | Don’t marry a singer… Shakira as a case study