Scottish lawyers back ban on smacking

Smacking original

The Law Society of Scotland has said children deserve the same protection as adults

8th August 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scotland’s lawyers have backed a ban on smacking children.

The Law Society of Scotland has said that proposals to change the law would offer children the same legal protection from assault as adults.

A Scottish Parliament consultation on banning smacking is underway, with the society stating that the current law is unacceptable as it signals that some forms of assault against children are acceptable.

Ian Cruickshank, convener of the Law Society of Scotland Criminal Law Committee, said: “There has been a change in culture over the years and physical chastisement of children is increasingly understood to be both ineffective and out of step with our understanding of children’s rights.

“These proposals seek to provide clarity in the law and to clearly define the limits of acceptable behaviour which would be applicable to all, regardless of age. If the law is changed in line with the proposed bill, it would set clear boundaries as to what is acceptable when it comes to the physical punishment of children.”

The organisation has also said the proposed bill would help to bring Scotland in line with its international obligations.

Green MSP John Finnie has said that he will introduce a Member’s Bill to outlaw smacking children.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The Scottish Government does not support physical punishment of children. We have no plans to introduce legislation in this area - however, as with all Members' Bills, we will carefully consider John Finnie's proposals.

"We continue to support positive parenting and we recognise that physical punishment can set children the wrong example and is not an effective way to teach children discipline."