SHORT CUTS

Scot­land to make smack­ing kids a crim­i­nal of­fence

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Trends -

Scot­land

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.

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