Brisbane Times June 30, 2008
Anti-smacking laws to punish Queensland parents who used “excessive force” to discipline their children could be too hard to prosecute, a lawyer has warned. Moves by the Labor Party to toughen its stance on smacking were made at its state conference earlier this month, with suggestions the practice would eventually be outlawed. But Brisbane lawyer Michael Bosscher, of criminal defence firm Ryan and Bosscher, said changes to the Criminal Code to make smacking illegal would be a legal minefield and would cause more problems than they solved.
He cited the example of New Zealand, where anti-smacking legislation had sparked a public backlash and had prompted calls for a referendum. “It is amazing to think Queensland is considering going down this path when New Zealand is trying to reverse its decision,” Mr Bosscher said. “Our laws already provide the option to prosecute parents who abuse their children.