Current legislation permits physical punishment of children so long as it constitutes “reasonable punishment”. The PPIW are undertaking two pieces of work related to the Welsh Government’s intention to seek cross party support for legislation to end the defence of “reasonable punishment”.
The first is an in-house evidence review on children’s attitudes towards physical punishment, and the links between parental physical punishment (particularly ‘reasonable punishment’) and child outcomes.
The second is an externally commissioned review looking at the impact of legislation prohibiting parental physical punishment in other jurisdictions, and those factors that make such legislation more or less (in)effective.
The PPIW has commissioned Professor Heather Keating to undertake the second piece of work. Professor Keating will review legislation and case-law, and draw upon international scholarly literature to draw out what might be learnt about how to develop effective legislation.
Professor Keating is Professor of Criminal Law & Criminal Responsibility at the University of Sussex. She specialises in Criminal Law and Child Law.