Physical punishment of children banned in Scotland

The defense of "justifiable assault" will no longer be available to defend smacking, thereby outlawing the physical punishment of children.  

Eliza Archer
Eliza Archer NewsMavens, Europe
Physical punishment of children banned in Scotland - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

With a significant majority, the Scottish parliament has voted to ban the physical punishment of children with a law dubbed the "smacking ban". Previously, "justifiable assault" was available as a defence and it was the removal of this clause that now makes it illegal.

Green Party MSP John Finne introduced the bill and said it was designed to send a clear message that physical punishment of children is not permitted.

Mary Glasgow, chief executive of Children 1st said the "momentous step" was "not about blaming or shaming parents. Acknowledging that family life is better when hitting and violence is off the table helps with that cultural shift and brings legislation up to date with where most people have already got to".

There was, however, some backlash from conservative MSPs who called the bill a “bad law”, suggesting the details of the law had not been examine thoroughly and instead the focus had pivoted on an ideological debate.

Details from the story:

  • The bill hopes to give children equal protection against violence under the law.
  • The bill was passed with a significant majority of 80 to 29 votes.
  • 54 countries have already banned the practice of smacking.
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