On 28 May 2019, MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament), overwhelmingly backed a bill to ban the smacking of children.
The bill had been put forward by Green MSP John Finnie and was designed to give children the same legal protections from assault as adults.
MSPs approved the bill by by 80 votes to 29. The Conservatives voted against the bill.
Some opponents to the bill argued that it interfered with family life and could see parents prosecuted for disciplining their children.
The bill will now go before a committee at Holyrood to be considered in more detail. The draft legislation will go before MSPs again before it is passed into law.
Family Law Inverness commented, “Currently in Scotland, parents are able to claim a defence of “justifiable assault” when smacking their child. However, the use of an “implement” in any punishment is banned, as is shaking or striking a child on the head. The bill would end that defence, meaning Scottish parents could face prosecution for smacking their children. There have been huge changes in society and people have been campaigning for many years for Scotland’s law makers to ban smacking. “