Law in force from today allowing parents to use corporal punishment defence

From today, any person who administers corporal punishment to a child will no longer be able to rely on such a defence in the courts.
Children's Minister James Reilly yesterday formally signed a commencement order for the removal of the clause from common law.
Such a move has been called for by human rights groups for many months.
Legislation which permitted parents to use force against their children was repealed almost 15 years ago but the defence of reasonable chastisement remained.
No new offence has been created that explicitly prohibits the smacking of children as a form of punishment - however, the decision to remove the defence is a significant step.
Speaking yesterday, Dr Reilly said he hopes removing the defence of reasonable chastisement will result in a "cultural change" in society.

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