11 November 2015

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Ireland removes common law defence of 'reasonable chastisement' effectively prohibiting all corporal punishment

Ireland has become the 20th European Union state, the 29th Council of Europe member state, and the 47th state worldwide to achieve full prohibition of corporal punishment, after more than a decade of mounting human rights pressure to give children equal protection from assaultPassed in the Dáil today, the new law will now go to the President for signature and is likely to come into force shortly.

Senator Jillian van Turnhout, who tabled the amendment, stated in the Seanad:

"Through its colonial past, England has been responsible for rooting this legal defence in over 70 countries and territories throughout the world.... [This amendment] will hopefully give confidence to the Government at Westminster, the devolved UK Administrations and other countries across the globe to discard these archaic and disreputable defences and give full respect to the dignity of children…. There must never be a defence for violence against children."

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