Court makes declaration on parental right to discipline children

Court makes declaration on parental right to discipline children

3 years ago 0 1188

Criminal LawYesterday in a controversial decision, the Supreme Court of South Australia pronounced that parents do have . Because it is a court of appeal judgement it will have ‘persuasive’ authority across similar matters within Queensland courts

In the matter of POLICE v GRAY [2016] SASC 39, dated 21/3/16 the Honourable Justice Peek stated that the original Magistrate hearing the case erred in his approach to the issue of parental correction and misdirected himself as to the relevance and weight of certain matters. Whilst the father asserted that the smacking constituted lawful parental correction of his child in the circumstances where the child had been seriously misbehaving. The leg did not bruise but remained red for two days. The Magistrate found the father guilty of assault when smacking the child 3 times not withstanding it being done as a form of discipline. The court of appeal judge upon examining the case on appeal has declared that the suffering of some temporary pain and discomfort by the child ‘will not transform a parent attempting to correct a child’ into ‘a person committing a criminal offence’.

In discussion the matter the appeal judge held that “The manner of correction must not be unreasonable. Matters to be taken into account in making this assessment include whether the child is sufficiently old to be physically corrected, the child’s sex and physical development, whether correction was administered by hand or with an implement, the nature of the physical correction, the nature of any injury or pain produced”

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