A Welsh Government Bill, introduced by Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services. The Business Committee has remitted the Bill to the Children, Young People and Education Committee.
About 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.
Further detail about the Bill can be found in its accompanying Explanatory Memorandum.
The Bill is currently at Stage 4. An explanation of the various stages of Assembly Bills is available in the Guide to the Stages of Public Bills and Acts.
Record of Passage in the National Assembly for Wales
The following table sets out the dates for each stage of the Bill’s passage through the National Assembly for Wales.
Bill introduced: 25 March 2019
Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill, as introduced (PDF 59KB)
Explanatory Memorandum (PDF 1MB)
Presiding Officer’s Statement: 25 March 2019 (PDF 59KB)
Revised Timetable (PDF 43KB)
Bill Summary (PDF 775KB)
Bilingual Glossary (PDF 87KB)
Stage 1: Committee considerations of general principles
Committee Stage 1 Report
The Committee laid its report on 2 August 2019.
Response by the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services to the Children, Young People and Education Committee's Stage 1 Report - 13 September 2019
In addition to the Committee’s own analysis of the consultation responses, the Office for National Statistics was also commissioned to undertake independent data science analysis of the responses, to identify the main issues raised by respondents.
The Children, Young People and Education Committee considered the Bill on the following dates:
Stage 1 Correspondence
Letter to the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services (5 April 2019) – seeking clarification on focused question ahead of oral evidence session (PDF 154KB)
Letter from the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services (25 April 2019) – response to the Committee’s request for further information ahead of the session on 2 May (PDF 838KB)
Letter from the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services (5 April 2019) – further information in relation to social services data (PDF 285KB)
Letter from the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services - Research report on public awareness and opinion of the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill (5 June 2019) (PDF 806KB)
Letter from the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services - Children’s awareness (12 July) (PDF 266KB)
Children and Young People
Letter from the Welsh Youth Parliament (1 May 2019) (PDF 698KB)
Information from Lleisiau Bach Little Voices (PDF 401KB)
Letter from the Children’s Commissioner for Wales – Children’s awareness (11 July) (PDF 548KB)
Timetable (PDF 43KB)
Targeted written evidence – responses received
Ministry of Justice (PDF 272KB)
Family First New Zealand (PDF 7MB)
New Zealand Children’s Commissioner (PDF 156KB)
Sentencing Council for England and Wales (PDF 349KB)
Targeted written evidence – responses not received
The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee considered the Bill on the following date:
Letter from the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services - 18 June 2019 (PDF 343KB)
The Finance Committee considered the Bill on the following date:
Stage 1: Debate in Plenary on general principles
A debate took place in Plenary on 17 September 2019. The motion to agree the general principles of the Bill was agreed.
Additional information provided by the Member in charge of the Bill after the Stage 1 debate – 23 October
In accordance with Standing Order 26.68 the Presiding Officer has indicated that a financial resolution is required for this Bill.
A Financial Resolution in relation to the Bill was agreed on 17 September 2019.
Stage 2: Committee consideration of amendments
Stage 2 began on 18 September 2019.
Stage 2 proceedings took place on Thursday 24 October 2019.
The order of consideration for Stage 2 proceedings was: sections 1-3; Long title.
of amendments – 7 October 2019 (PDF 73KB)
Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill, as amended at Stage 2 (PDF 63 KB) (Amendments to the Bill since the previous version are indicated by sidelining in the right margin)
Stage 3: Plenary consideration of amendments
Following the completion of Stage 2 proceedings, Stage 3 commenced on 25 October 2019. Amendments may now be tabled to the Bill as amended at Stage 2.
Stage 3 consideration will take place in Plenary on 21 January 2020 to consider amendments to the Bill (as amended at Stage 2). The deadline for tabling amendments is five working days before the date of the meeting at which they are due to be considered.
The order of consideration for Stage 3 proceedings was: sections 1-6; Long title.
of amendments – 7 January 2020 (PDF 80KB)
Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill, as amended at Stage 3 (PDF 66KB) (Amendments to the Bill since the previous version are indicated by sidelining in the right margin)
Letter from the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services - Update on progress obtaining reliable social services data highlighted in the Regulatory Impact Assessment of the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill
Stage 4: Passing of the Bill in Plenary
Stage 4 is scheduled to take place on 28 January 2020.
This Stage has not yet been reached.
Clerk: Llinos Madeley
Phone: 0300 200 6352
National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff CF99 1NA
Business type: Bill
Reason considered: Government Business;
First published: 25/03/2019
Decision due: Meeting Date by Children, Young People and Education Committee