Monday, 1 August 2005

Smacking ambiguous law

Sue Bradford's Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill 2005 will be considered by a select committee after the election. The bill will remove a legal defence of reasonable force by way of discipline for parents charged with assaulting their children by repealing s59 of the Crimes Act, which permits what the law at present calls explicitly "reasonable force." Without s59, the law considers all force to be assault, meaning "the act of intentionally applying or attempting to apply force to the person of another, directly or indirectly..."

Read more of this comment here at Dave Crampton's Big News, and my own earlier comments on this Bill here.

Frankly, I have no time for those who are determined to collapse the distinction between smacking and beating, and between the illegal and the immoral. There is a difference -- a crucial difference -- between each of these, and confusing the distinction as Bradford seeks to do by adding unnecessary ambiguity to our law needs being smacked down itself.

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