Friday, 16 November 2007

FI - 311

16 November 2007 - Family Integrity #311 -- Sweden allows smacking

Greetings all,

This was just published in Sweden. This will not likely help us in NZ, for the anti-smacking law in Sweden is in the Civil Code, the one with no penalties! Social Workers and police there have to decide if the smack that comes to their attention is either clearly an assault under their criminal code or can come under other criminal legislation such as the infamous "disturbing of the peace" law. NZ's anti-smacking law is in the criminal code, where we will automatically face charges of assault if a smack ever comes to the attention of social workers or police. Things seem to be changing in Sweden since the recent elections that booted out the socialists and voted in a conservative government.


Craig Smith
National Director
Family Integrity
PO Box 9064
Palmerston North
New Zealand
Ph: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389

Our Home....Our Castle

if Section59 is repealed - or replaced...
Parents 'allowed to smack children'
Published: 15th November 2007 16:48 CET

Swedish parents are allowed to smack their children, as long as they do not hit them too hard, a court in southern Sweden has ruled.

Ystad District Court was ruling in the case of a couple accused of assaulting their daughter. The pair were accused after the girl, 5, told a nurse at a medical check-up that she had been hit.

In subsequent interviews the girl told police:

"When daddy came home from work and was very cross, he hit me on the bottom and it hurt.

"Mummy also hit me on the head, and that hurt," she added.

The father admitted smacking the girl on the bottom, saying that the physical chastisement was part of her upbringing.

A unanimous court ruled that the father's smack did not constitute assault - it was not hard enough to be assault, nor was it done with indifference to the pain it would cause.

Hans Hulthén, the lawyer representing the girl, said he was considering appealing the verdict.

"This ruling undoubtedly sends very strange signals," Hulthén said.

Swedish law is widely interpreted as banning smacking of children, and Sweden is frequently cited internationally as an example of a country with a total ban on corporal punishment.

The 1979 Parenting Act states that children "may not be subjected to corporal chastisement or other demeaning treatment."

According to Sweden's Children's Ombudsman, the preparatory work for the act stipulates that corporal punishment is banned if it causes the child physical injury or pain. This is intended to apply even to a light strike or passing pain, it states.

TT/The Local ( 656 6518)

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