Our articles are written by experts in their field and include barristers, solicitors, judges, mediators, academics and professionals from a range of related disciplines. Family Law provides a platform for debate for all the important topics, from divorce and care proceedings to transparency and access to justice. If you would like to contribute please email editor@familylaw.co.uk.
A day in the life Of...
Read on

Scotland becomes first UK country to ban smacking

Date:7 OCT 2019
Third slide

Scotland has become the first country in the UK to make it a criminal offence for parents to smack their children.

The ban on all physical punishment was backed overwhelmingly by 84 votes to 29 by the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 3 October.

The move will give children in Scotland the same protection from assault as adults when it comes into force.

The member’s bill, which was lodged by the Scottish Green party MSP John Finnie, a former police officer, and supported by the Scottish National party government, is designed to give children equal protection from violence by removing the defence of 'justifiable assault' in Scots law.

Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative...
International Trust and Divorce Litigation Third Edition
International Trust and Divorce Litigation Third Edition
Indispensable practical guide for offshore...
Family Court Practice, The
Family Court Practice, The
Order the 2024 edition

Mr Finnie said smacking teaches children that 'might is right', and that the ban would 'send a strong message that violence is never acceptable in any setting'.

He also said there was 'irrefutable' evidence that physical punishment damages children, is not an effective form of discipline and can even escalate into physical abuse.

Parents in England and Northern Ireland are currently allowed to use 'reasonable chastisement', while similar legislation to Scotland was introduced by the Welsh government in March.