Smacking Bill great for lawyers, bad for kids

The Dom Post reports on how the amended Section 59 bill is going to be a “field day” for lawyers, and that effective lawyers will continue to get parents off, even if they give their kids a bruise which lasts a week.

Now let there be no doubt – if Parliament goes with the Chester Borrows amendment, then giving a child a bruise which lasts a week will be illegal. The definition of reasonable force is drastically lowered to causing “temporary and trifling discomfort”.

The amended Bradford bill does not define reasonable force in any way. It merely amends the circumstances in which such force will be appropriate. I don’t think the bill as amended would help a single child – the additional reasons you can apply reasonable force, combined with the failure to define reasonable force, barely changes the status quo. I’ve always regarded Sue Bradford as one of the best MPs in Parliament. But if she wants to be true to her principles, she should now oppose this Bill as a meaningless gesture which she doesn’t want her name associated with.

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