Smacking Children Set To Become Illegal Across Britain
Smacking children is set to become illegal across Britain amid planned law changes in Wales and Scotland.
Parents in England will have to consider how to punish their offspring when travelling around the UK.
Physical punishment of children has no place in a modern and progressive Wales, Minister for Children Huw Irranca-Davies said…
Speaking on Universal Children’s Day, the Minister said he was working to take forward the Welsh Government’s plans to introduce legislation to remove the defence of reasonable punishment.
If passed by the National Assembly, it will mean that smacking in Wales will become illegal.
That will leave England as the only place where children are legally still allowed to smack their children but could cause problems for any English parents takling their children over the borders.
In Wales, as in England, it is lawful for a parent or carer to smack their child where it amounts to “reasonable chastisement”. This defence is laid down in the Children Act 2004, but it is not defined in the legislation.
Whether a “smack” amounts to reasonable punishment will depend on the circumstances of each case taking into consideration factors like the age of the child and the nature of the smack, according to legal experts.
Physical punishment will be considered “unreasonable” if it leaves a mark on the child or if the child is hit with an implement such as a cane or a belt.
Smacking children will be banned in Scotland, the Scottish Government confirmed last month.
The legislation will remove the defence of ”justifiable assault” in Scots law, which allows parents to use physical punishment to admonish a child.