BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 21 December 2007, 12:25 GMT
Defeat for smacking ban legal bid
Actors simulate a family situation
A bid to end physical chastisement has failed
The NI Children's Commissioner has lost an attempt to force the government to ban the physical punishment of children and young people.

In a judicial review, Mr Justice Gillen said the NI secretary had not acted illegally in bringing the law in NI into line with England and Wales.

Commissioner Patricia Lewsley had argued that allowing such physical punishment was discriminatory.

She said similar acts against adults could be considered as assault.

It is understood the Commissioner's office is considering an appeal against the judgement.

The High Court judge said the legislation, which provided for a defence of reasonable chastisement of a child to a charge of assault, was not incompatible with the European Convention guaranteeing the right to freedom from degrading treatment or punishment and the right to respect for privacy and family life.

"The current legislation strictly confines the severity of corporal punishment which a parent may lawfully give to a child," he said.

SEE ALSO
Children's treatment 'appalling'
26 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland
Child complaint service launched
26 Sep 05 |  Northern Ireland
Funds 'must stem suicide crisis'
23 May 05 |  Northern Ireland

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific