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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 15:06 GMT
Smacking ban attempt is dropped
Actors simulate a child being told off
Mild smacking is allowed under the Children's Act
An attempt to ban smacking in Wales has been dropped after a wrangle between governments in Cardiff and Westminster.

The assembly government says it does not accept UK Government legal advice a ban could not be introduced in Wales.

But an assembly government minister said while such a ban could come within powers it was seeking, it was bowing to Wales Office pressure.

The UK Government had wanted it made clear Wales could not have a ban before other powers were transferred.

AMs voted for a smacking ban in 2004.

The UK Government said last week that new law-making powers for the assembly government to protect vulnerable children would not extend to a complete smacking ban.

It said this would impinge on the criminal justice system, which is not devolved to Wales.

In a letter to a committee chair on Tuesday, assembly government Deputy Social Services Minister Gwenda Thomas said the administration believed it could ban all physical punishment of children on social welfare grounds.

But she said the assembly government had agreed to redraft its request for new powers.

Ms Thomas wrote that otherwise "we will not be able to secure the necessary powers to deliver the important One Wales (Labour-Plaid coalition document) to reform and consolidate the law relating to vulnerable children in Wales, improving preventative measures and tackling child poverty".

Under the 2004 Children's Act, which came into force in January 2005, mild smacking is allowed.

Any punishment which causes visible bruising, grazes, scratches, minor swellings or cuts can result in legal action.



SEE ALSO
Ministers rule out smacking ban
25 Oct 07 |  UK Politics
MPs oppose moves to ban smacking
03 Nov 04 |  UK Politics

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