MSPs to visit Skye to hear views on ‘anti-smacking’ Bill


Portree is set to host a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee as MSPs discuss proposals to stop parents relying on the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ if they physically punish their child. MSPs will meet a range of groups on the island, before holding a formal meeting with representatives of different faiths and belief systems.

The Committee is currently scrutinising the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) Bill, and the implications of how the law might work if passed. This stage in the Parliamentary process is an opportunity for MSPs to hear from stakeholders, to make recommendations about the Bill, and to come to a view as a Committee on whether or not to support the Bill becoming a law.

The formal Committee meeting, which is open to the public to attend, will be held between 4:00 – 6:00pm on Friday 15 March in the Fingal Centre / Arainn Fhinn, Portree. The public are also welcome to a Question and Answer session in the centre from 3:15pm.

Earlier in the day, Members will also meet with schoolchildren from Bun-Sgoil Ghaidhlig Phort Righ (Portree Gaelic Primary School), Portree High School, young carers and parents’ groups on the island, to hear their views on the proposals.

Ahead of the visit, Committee Convener, Ruth Maguire MSP, said:

“The physical discipline of children is an emotive topic. Those we have heard from so far have held varied and often strong opinions.

“MSPs are very interested in the evidence we are receiving during this crucial phase of the legislative process. We will be taking points of view into account before we report back to the full Parliament on the next steps.”

Ms Maguire added:

“We hope that as many people as possible can make it along to watch our meeting in the Fingal Centre, and that people on Skye take the opportunity to help with the Committee’s deliberations.”

To book a ticket for the Q&A and public meeting, call 0131 248 5200, freephone 0800 092 7600, email or go online.


Media wishing to access any part of the day should contact Greg Black on 07920 296 862.

The Committee has so far heard from academics, children’s groups and charities in Edinburgh.

The Fingal Centre / Arainn Fhinn’s address is Viewfield Rd, Portree, IV51 9ET.

Witnesses expected to appear before the meeting in Portree are:

• James Gillies – the Christian Institute
• Witness TBC – Evangelical Alliance
• Witness TBC – Free Church Continuing
• Mairi Campbell-Jack – Quakers in Britain
• Rev Peter Nimmo – Church and Society Council, Church of Scotland, Minister of Old High St Stephen’s Church of Scotland, Inverness
• Fraser Sutherland – Humanist Society Scotland

Photographs from the day will be available free of charge afterwards. These should also be requested from Greg Black

Contact information

Media information

  • Greg Black: 0131 348 6266 / 07920 296 862
  • Text Relay calls welcome

 Committee information


Public information

  • Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
  • [email protected]
  • Text 07786 209 888
  • Ask a question online through live chat
  • We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

Keep up to date with us on:

keep up to date with what's happening in Parliament on Facebook Follow the Scottish Parliament on Twitter @ScotParl keep up to date with what's 
happening in Parliament on YouTube

This website is using cookies.
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.