Calls for law reform in Australia

Corporal punishment of children is legal in every state in Australia.  Recently there have been calls for reform.

In Queensland an MP, Dean Wells, is calling to have the State’s Criminal Code amended to restrict the reasonable force statutory defence to common (or very minor assaults).

Researchers in New South Wales have published a study of child homicides in NSW in the Medical Journal of Australia.  In the research they found that the most common cause of homicide death was physical abuse often associated with discipline. The researchers called for a prohibition of corporal punishment of children.

Associate Professor Judy Cashmore presented a case for prohibition of corporal punishment of children at a seminar held on December 11th at the Australian Institute of Family Studies in Melbourne.

The South Australian government has proposed prohibition of corporal punishment in all schools and early childhood development centres in a Bill to be introduced into parliament in 2009.

Source of information (Global Initiative Newsletter 6 – January 2009).