Good Parents Made Criminals Sometime This Year?

Domestic discipline-“Every parent of a child…is justified in using force by way of correction towards the child, if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances.” Section 59 of the Crimes Act.The Select Committee’s proposed substitution amendment of Section 59 will effectively repeal all parental authority and make all parents criminals by definition, whether they are prosecuted or not.

The aim of this substitution amendment is to remove from parents the legal right to use ‘reasonable force’ to correct their children. Any force used to correct children will, after amendment, fall under the law regarding assault. Assault is a criminal activity. As children cannot be corrected without the use of ‘force’ of some sort, any parent who corrects their child will commit a criminal act by doing so and thus by definition be a criminal.

Sue Bradford does not need another bill to criminalise parents. The Committee’s proposed amendment does that for her. Nor is her claim she does not intend to criminalise parents, credible. The explanatory notes to her bill show that that is precisely her intention. Nor is her claim that police won’t prosecute all parents – as though prosecuting some parents is a matter of no consequence! It is not the prosecution of a person that makes them a criminal, but the person’s committing of criminal acts. Bradford intends to make correcting children a criminal activity, and thus all parents criminals.

Are Parliamentarians so out of touch with reality that they want to turn all parents into criminals? Surely not! However, unbelievable as it may sound, about half of them are!


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