Smacking a child does not transform a parent into a criminal (Aust)

The Advertiser 21 March 2016
Family First Comment: Well said! “It is very important that parental conduct which is not considered unreasonable in the Australian community should not be stigmatised as criminal offending in a criminal court.”

AN Air Force pilot’s conviction for smacking his son, 12, has been overturned because causing pain during discipline does not “transform” a parent into a criminal, a court has ruled.

On Monday, Supreme Court Justice David Peek quashed the pilot’s conviction for aggravated assault, saying his trial was “misdirected” on “the issue of parental correction”.

In his judgment, Justice Peek said slaps the pilot delivered to his son’s thigh, leaving “redness” but no bruise, were “not unreasonable” and for the purpose of correcting misbehaviour.

“The suffering of some temporary pain and discomfort by the child will not transform a parent attempting to correct a child into a person committing a criminal offence,” he said.

“Indeed, the very suffering of temporary emotion may be calculated to impress the child and correct the behaviour, just as much as the accompanying physical discomfort.

“Some level of pain is permissible, and in the present case there was little … the mere existence of red marks caused by the punishment does not prove unreasonable correction.

“It is very important that parental conduct which is not considered unreasonable in the Australian community should not be stigmatised as criminal offending in a criminal court.”
READ MORE: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/smacking-a-child-does-not-transform-a-parent-into-a-criminal-sa-supreme-court-rules/news-story/4189d20bb1760f05bb9189a55bfd6b63
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