MSPs seeking views on proposal to end the physical punishment of children


Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee is launching a call for views on proposed changes that would remove the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ from Scots law. Without this legal defence, parents and guardians would not be able to physically punish their children.

The proposal, which has been brought forward by John Finnie MSP in a private Members’ Bill, will face public scrutiny from the Committee early in 2019. Ahead of this, the Committee is seeking to gather as wide a range of views as possible, to better inform its work.

Speaking as the call for views launched, Committee Convener, Ruth Maguire MSP, said:

“This Bill has aroused strong views. There are passionately held beliefs on both sides of this argument – from those who think that physical punishment violates a child’s human rights, to those who feel parents should have a right to smack their children.

“As the proposed law starts making its way through the Parliamentary process, we are keen to hear from people in Scotland who have a view on this subject. This will help us as we carry out our role as parliamentarians and inform our consideration of the proposals.

“While Committee Members will be getting out and about around Scotland, engaging with young people and community groups, absolutely anyone can submit their views to us. Full details on how to get in touch can be found on the Parliament’s website.


Find further details and information on how to respond to the Committee online



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