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Legislative Proposal to Remove the Defence of Reasonable Punishment

18.01.18

The Welsh Government has published its consultation on its legislative proposals to remove the defence of reasonable punishment.

The aims of the proposals are not to create a new offence but to remove the defence of reasonable punishment in the cases of assault and battery. This will give children the same legal protection as adults.

The consultation notes that several decades of research shows that corporal punishment increases the risk of poor outcomes for children. It also notes that physical punishment of children is incompatible with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), to which the UK is a signatory. The UNCRC recognises that even minor physical punishment of children is incompatible with their human rights.

Physical punishment, the consultation notes, is not a required part of discipline. It highlights alternatives, including positive, authoritative parenting approaches, and programmes like Triple P and Incredible Years.

The consultation closes on 02 April 2018, and can be found on the Welsh Government website here.