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Politics – Scottish smacking ban

May 2018

Parents will have their rights to bring up their children handed over to the state if the Scottish parliament criminalises smacking.

This was the warning from lawyer Gordon Lindhurst, a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), who claimed the Scottish government’s arguments in favour of a ban on smacking were underhand.

Writing for Scottish Legal News, he said that, rather than banning assault on children (which is already illegal), the proposal aims to rebrand loving parental discipline as ‘assault’.

As quoted on the Christian Institute website, he pointed out that, despite John Finnie MSP’s claims that a ban would not criminalise parents, removing the current legal defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ would ‘subject parents to criminal liability’.

A spokesman for the Be Reasonable campaign, which opposes the smacking ban, welcomed Mr Lindhurst’s comments. He said, ‘Parents will be pleased to receive Mr Lindhurst’s support and we look forward to many more MSPs speaking out in the months to come, as this debate is thrust to the forefront of the political agenda.