will smacking be outlawed?
The Select Committee report on Section 59 of the Crimes Act, released today, provides no assistance as to what is the likely outcome of legislation to ban smacking. What it does indicate is that Labour and the Greens do not just want to remove reasonable force provisions, they want to ban smacking, something that they denied all along.
The committee has defined the purpose of the bill as to "make better provision for children to live in a safe an secure envirement free from violence" by recommending that smacking be banned. The majority of committee members considers that smacking is violence that should be unlawful, and that banning it will ensure that children will live in a safe and secure environment. Of course this is rubbish. Furthermore, they have decided that although smacking for correction should be banned, if any force is used to prevent a child from engaging in criminal activity, that is OK.
Now a threat of assault is a criminal activity. So if a kid threatens to hit his parents or raises his fist to do so, a parent can strike back within the law, as long as it is not correction, under this recommendation.
Yet, despite concerns from lobbyists, who seem to think the select committee has recommended repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act, the real test is next year when there will be a vote on Chester Borrow's supplementary order paper which will allow parents who lightly smack their children to be protected from prosecution.
Which is closer to my position on the bill.