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Smacking ban to be debated by National Assembly for Wales, 17/10/11 [W]

A cross-party group of AMs seeking to end the physical punishment of children will lead a debate on a smacking ban in Wales in an upcoming Assembly debate.

Currently in England and Wales, parents who smack their children are able to use the legal defence of “reasonable chastisement.” A previous attempt to amend the law in Wales led to disputes over whether the National Assembly had the power to legislate in this area, however, First Minister Carwyn Jones has now told AMs that the National Assembly now has the necessary powers to change the criminal law as relating to Wales, removing the “reasonable chastisement” defence, and making smacking illegal in Wales.

The Welsh government also said it wanted to make physical punishment unacceptable by promoting “positive alternatives”.

The motion, tabled jointly by Christine Chapman AM, Julie Morgan AM, Lindsay Whittle AM and Kirsty Williams AM, will be the first debate held by the Assembly under a new system which aims to make the Assembly’s business more open to issues of importance to Members and communities across Wales.

To find out more about the new system of individual member-led debates, please visit the National Assembly for Wales website.