South Scotland

Scottish Borders Council smacking ban support bid withdrawn

Smack Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Scottish Borders Council was being asked to lend its support to proposals to ban smacking children

A bid to get Borders councillors to support moves to ban parents in Scotland from smacking their children has been withdrawn.

Helen Laing, who represents East Berwickshire, had lodged a motion backing the proposals by Highlands and Islands Green MSP John Finnie.

Consultation is currently ongoing ahead of a proposed member's bill in the Scottish Parliament.

Ms Laing said children should have the same protection as adults.

The SNP councillor's motion was due to be debated by Scottish Borders Council when it met in Newton St Boswells but has now been taken off the agenda.

'Clear evidence'

Under Scottish law, parents can claim a defence of "justifiable assault" when punishing their child.

However, section 51 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 prohibits the use of an "implement" in the punishment.

It also bans parents from shaking their child or striking them on their head.

Mr Finnie has said there was "clear evidence" that the use of physical punishment was detrimental to a child's long-term health and wellbeing.

Consultation on his proposals - backed by a number of children's charities, as well as the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents - runs until 4 August.

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