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Father in strife after chastising son on the back of the legs with a belt.

An Aussie dad who hit his son on the back of the legs with a belt has had assault charges dismissed and then reinstated in a legal battle highlighting the issue of corporal punishment.

The 44-year-old father, who cannot be named as it would identity his son, allegedly struck the 14-year-old on the legs in March last year.

He was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

However, Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge threw it out of the Downing Centre Local Court last June, saying she was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt “that lawful chastisement and correction was not intended by [the father]”.

However, the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed the decision. In the latest twist, the NSW Supreme Court has upheld the appeal, dismissing Ms Milledge’s decision and ordering that it return to the local court for fresh proceedings.

In all Australian states, the “reasonable chastisement” of children by a parent is legal.

NSW is the only state to stipulate what is deemed “unreasonable”, defining it as any force applied above the shoulders or that results in injury lasting longer than a “short period”.

Last month we shared a Uni lecturer says smacking, spanking and hitting children should be made illegal in Australia.

Read more: smacking, spanking and hitting children should be made illegal in Australia.

Do we need stricter laws around the acceptable discipline of children?

Share your comments below.

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  • wow new methods of discipline should be taught to the parent. Be calm and find another way to deal with your child.

    Reply

  • Not acceptable. There are other ways of dealing with negative behavior.

    Reply

  • The boy would have had red welts on his legs or even cuts from being hit with a belt. The pain would have lasted for at least a week. If he hit him above the knees, sitting down would have been painful as well as standing up and walking or running…….regardless it is Child Abuse, probably including physcological abuse not just physical.

    Reply

  • Using a belt is NEVER acceptable.

    Reply

  • So far in all Australian states, the “reasonable chastisement” of children by a parent is legal and that is probably a good thing, as the state shouldn’t take over the upbringing of our children.
    Although there’s a fine line between what is reasonable and unreasonable.
    It sure is necessary to define “unreasonable” like NSW does, stating it as any force applied above the shoulders or that results in injury lasting longer than a “short period. May the other states follow.

    Reply

  • There is never a good reason to use a weapon on a child.

    Reply

  • Yes, I think so. This is abuse. Nowadays we talk so much about violence against women, but violence against kids is equally important.

    Reply

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