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THE right - or not - of a parent to chastise their child is possibly one of the most sensitive subjects when it comes to the issue of how far it is proper for the state and law courts to impinge on personal liberties. In 2003, after much public debate, the Executive stopped short of introducing a complete ban on parents physically chastising their children. This was despite a call for an outright prohibition from the United Nations and from many child-centred organisations in the UK.
IN recent years, attitudes to domestic violence have changed dramatically - people no longer accept the shocking excuse that "she was asking for it". Similarly, most of us no longer think that a teacher hitting a pupil is acceptable.
THE Scottish Socialists yesterday backed calls to outlaw smacking, despite warnings from some party members that the move would criminalise good parents.
KATHLEEN Marshall, Scotland's Children's Commissioner, says that any "smack, slap, or hit" on a child is an "assault" and should be classed as a crime punishable in court. The professor was immediately rebuked by politicians from all parties.
SCOTLAND'S four main political parties last night united in rejecting a call by Kathleen Marshall, the Children's Commissioner, for Holyrood to introduce an outright ban on parents smacking children.
TONY Blair confirmed yesterday that he had sometimes dealt with his children's anti-social behaviour by smacking them.
A FRESH legal effort is being mounted to ban the smacking of children.
PARENTS in England and Wales who smack their children hard enough to leave a mark will face up to five years’ imprisonment from today.
TEACHERS and parents at independent private Christian schools were today taking their case to the House of Lords for the right of staff to smack pupils with parental consent.
THE decision not to outlaw the physical punishment of children will mean the most vulnerable members of society are offered less protection from assault than adults, an expert warned today.
THREE-quarters of parents across Britain have admitted smacking their offspring, prompting renewed calls for England and Wales to follow Scotland’s example and introduce legislation to protect children.
IN the four months she has been in the job, Scotland’s first children’s commissioner has become no stranger to political controversy, angering family campaigners, teachers and even her government employers.
SCOTLAND’S first Children’s Commissioner - a vocal campaigner against the chastisement of youngsters - has admitted she smacked her daughter and two sons when they were young.
A BID to outlaw the smacking of children in England and Wales failed last night when the House of Lords opted for a compromise allowing parents to use "mild" punishment.
CELEBRITIES including Sir Richard Branson and Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding today demanded smacking be banned.
MORE than two-thirds of people back a ban on smacking children, according to a survey published today.
MOST British citizens don’t want a ban on smacking children, according to a new poll.