Crimes Against Children : The International Judicial System in The Vatican City State
The Vatican City State is the last remaining monarchy in Europe and has a decentralized multiple coordinated system. It was by the Lateran Treaty of 1929, signed by Mussolini and a representative of Pope Pius XI, that the Vatican claimed statehood. While the Vatican City State is recognized under international laws and does enter into agreements with the international community, it is not a civil state. Thus being, all legal matters within the Vatican City State concerning the church are viewed under Canon law; other legal matters are dealt with by Italian Law in Rome (Encyclopedia of the Nations, n.d.). Because of the power and authority that have been bestowed upon the Pope, there has been a structure of official agencies which have been created and from which power is administrated within various categories. The name that this complex structure has been given is the Roman Curia, whose members are appointed by the Pope. Each of these members performs their duty in the name of the Pope, with his authority and for the good of the church (Encyclopedia of the Nations, n.d.). Recently, this structure has come under fire, due to the transgressions which have taken place in the past, worldwide, within the church, regarding alleged crimes against children by those who deem themselves to be leaders and moral guides of the people.
The Vatican’s legal code has recently been updated by Pope Francis to include acts against children, i.e. child abuse, child pornography, recruitment of children, child prostitution and sexual acts with a child (Uebbing, David) as crimes against humanity and punishable as such. This allows the “Holy See to prosecute any of its officials who commit crimes outside its walls (Uebbing, David, 2013)”. These new laws allow for the indictment and prosecution of criminals by both the Holy See and the country in which the crime took place (Shea, 2012).