Scotland to make smacking kids a criminal offence
will become the first country in the UK to make smacking children a criminal offence. A vote on November 3 is expected to overwhelmingly pass a bill that will completely outlaw the current defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ under Scottish law, meaning parents could potentially face prosecution for any use of physical punishment. Initially proposed by the Scottish Green Party, the bill has won cross-party support, with all but the Scottish Conservatives planning to vote to pass the new legislation. Currently, parents and carers are allowed to use ‘reasonable force’ to discipline children over the age of three, despite the Scots Law regarding any physical attack on an adult as an ‘assault’. In practice, ‘reasonable force’ means parents smacking children on the body usually escape criminal charges but blows to the head or with an implement are strictly prohibited.