Antyczne inspiracje niemieckich regulacji prawnych w zakresie kazirodztwa
The ancient inspirations for the German legal regulations on the incest
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Since the German Ethic Council in September 2014 recommended revision of the incest law and questioned the justification for criminalising consensual sexual activity between siblings, the incest law became the subject of many public debates in Europe. This arti- cle is a contribution to show the evolution of the legal regulation of incest in Germany throughout the ages. A short overview of incest legislation in ancient cultures and in Ro- man law, shows that in nearly every past society, incest was considered taboo. Although, in theory, incest legislation in Roman law was very limited, it was in fact strictly forbid- den. The present legal norms in Germany, which are based on Roman legal heritage and influenced by Christianity, also prohibit it. Incest is defined in § 173 of the German Crimi- nal Code (Strafgesetzbuch) as an act of sexual intercourse between lineal ancestors and descendants and between siblings. The penalisation of incest is justified by protection of the family unit. Nevertheless, due to the radical changes in moral values of society, the current German legislation is facing a crisis.
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