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Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill

Purpose of the consultation

The Children, Young People and Education Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the general principles of the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill (‘the Bill’).


The purpose of the Bill is to abolish the common law defence of reasonable punishment so it is no longer available in Wales to parents or those acting in loco parentis as a defence to assault or battery against a child.


The defence currently applies in respect of both the criminal and civil law. Under the criminal law, it applies in respect of the common law offences of assault and battery; and under civil law, in respect of the tort of trespass against the person.


The Bill is intended to support children’s rights by prohibiting the use of physical punishment, through removal of this defence.


The intended effect of the Bill, together with an awareness-raising campaign and support for parents, is to bring about a further reduction in the use and tolerance of the physical punishment of children in Wales.


Terms of reference

To consider-

  • the general principles of the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill and whether there is a need for legislation to deliver the Bill’s stated policy objectives;
  • any potential barriers to the implementation of the provisions and whether the Bill takes account of them;
  • whether there are any unintended consequences arising from the Bill;
  • the financial implications of the Bill (as set out in Part 2 of the Explanatory Memorandum);
  • the appropriateness of the power in the Bill for Welsh Ministers to make subordinate legislation (as set out in Part 1: Chapter 5 of the Explanatory Memorandum).

Given the volume of information we expect to receive, and the set timetable in which we are expected to report, we request that you submit all information via an online portal. This will help us ensure that all views are given sufficient consideration. If you have any questions about the portal, please contact the Committee Clerk:

The deadline for submitting your views is 17.00 on Tuesday 14 May. Please note that it will not be possible to consider responses received after this date.


Follow this link to respond to the consultation

Contact details

Should you wish to speak to someone regarding this consultation, please use the below contact details:

Children, Young People and Education Committee
National Assembly for Wales
Pierhead Street
CF99 1NA

Telephone: 0300 200 6565



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