Government strikes a compromise on smacking law

    Peers voted to allow parents to lightly smack their children and
    rejected an outright ban in the House of Lords yesterday,
    writes Amy Taylor.

    The passed amendment to the Children Bill allows parents to
    administer smacking as a reasonable punishment as long as it does
    not cause “actual bodily harm”.

    “There is a need to strengthen legal protection for children
    whose parents are violent towards them, but I do not believe that
    parents should be criminalised for administering a light
    disciplinary smack because it is technically a battery,” said
    Lord Lester of Herne Hill who tabled the amendment.

    The Government had said that it would not support a ban on smacking
    arguing that the kind of punishment that causes injury was clearly
    not “reasonable chastisement” and therefore already
    against the law.

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