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The physical punishment of children in Scotland: a consultation

The purpose of this consultation paper is to explore how the law relating to the physical punishment of children can be modernised, so that it better protects children from harm. The aim of the consultation is to address two specific issues. First, within the context of a modern family policy, in a responsible society, where should we draw the line as to what physical punishment of children is acceptable within the family setting? Second, how do we achieve that position in law?

The paper sets the issue of physical punishment in the context of the Scottish Executive’s wider policy aims in support of families, and summarises current prevailing attitudes towards the issue. It outlines the existing law; explains in more detail why change is needed; sets out the government's proposed way forward and options for change; and invites public views.

Scottish Executive Justice Department
The Stationery Office