Scotland has banned parents from smacking their children by law. The practice which was earlier banned in the country has now become a law. With the development, the country has become the first part of the UK to outlaw physical punishment to those under 16 years of age. While parents and carers were earlier allowed to use physical force to disciple their children if it was considered "reasonable chastisement". However, now, under the new law, the so-called "justifiable assault" defence is no longer available. The law seeks to give children the same protection that adults have from children.
Sweden was the first country in the world to ban smacking at the home when it outlawed corporal punishment in 1979. With the new law, Scotland has now become the 58th country to do so. In January, Wales was to pass a law banning people from smacking their children which will begin in 2022. French Bid to Ban Smacking Children Meets Resistance.
Scottish Greens MSP John Finnie, a former police officer, who won the support of the SNP, Labour and Lib Dems, as well as his own party and many children's charities, brought the smacking ban bill to the Scottish Parliament. Children's Minister Maree Todd as saying, "This outdated defence has no place in a modern Scotland. It can never be reasonable to strike a child."
However, there are criticisms to this too. People suggest that the changes in the existing law were unnecessary as good families just smack on the bottom for discipline. On the other hand, they said that the law cannot do anything to those children suffering physical abuse.