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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

section 59 

The debate over s59 of the Crimes Act (reasonable force as a defence against assault of a minor) is picking up again, sort of. Given the lack of consensus on the issue, and strongly held views on both sides, the opportunity for a middle-ground approach is being missed. In an ideal world, no child would be smacked, perhaps ... but they sure need to be physically restrained from time to time, and that is a prima facie assault in the sense that children don't consent to it.

In any case, how about revising s.59 along Canadian lines:

1/ No striking of any child under 2 or over 12
2/ No striking of any child about the head
3/ No use of a weapon or implement to strike a child

That would be a good start, me thinks.


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