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Legislative proposal to remove the defence of reasonable punishment – what are your views?

23rd March 2018

The Welsh assembly has an open consultation on the proposal to remove  the defence of reasonable punishment.

They encourage more people to respond to this consultation before it ends.  (The closing date is 2 April).  They are keen for professionals who work with children and families to have a say in this consultation.

We have been asked to share this with the health visiting community. Although it is only a legislation proposal for Wales at the moment, it is hoped it will eventually be a UK wide legislation.   It is not about criminalising parents,  but giving children and young people the same level of protection as adults.

Consultation description
It is against the law for a parent or carer to smack their child, except where this amounts to ‘reasonable punishment’ (section 58 Children Act 2004).

The Welsh Assembly is consulting on the development of a legislative proposal to remove this defence. This would not create a new criminal offence, but would remove a defence to the existing offence of common assault or battery.

Consultation closes – 2 April 2018

Consultation documents are available on the link below: