MANCHESTER: Smacking children is to be banned in Scotland, the Scottish government has confirmed.
The move would make the country the first part of the UK to outlaw the physical punishment of children.
Ministers had previously said they did not support parents using physical chastisement, but had “no plans” to bring forward legislation of their own.
But the government has now confirmed it will ensure a bill lodged by Green MSP John Finnie will become law.
And it is understood that ministers will work with Mr Finnie to implement the bill in practice.
His proposals, which were out for consultation over the summer, would give children the same legal protection as adults.
At present, parents in Scotland can claim a defence of “justifiable assault” when punishing their child – although the use of an “implement” in any punishment is banned, as is shaking or striking a child on the head.
There are no bans on smacking in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where parents are currently allowed to use “reasonable chastisement”.