From 22 March 2022, physically punishing children will be illegal in Wales. This change is being brought about by the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020 (the Act).
The Welsh Government has provided factsheets (In Welsh and in English) specifically for the legal profession, outlining what you need to know about the change in law.
Legal professionals may need to provide advice to a parent, or person acting with parental responsibility, who has physically punished the child they are caring for. If the assault takes place in Wales, the defence of reasonable punishment will no longer be able to be used as a defence to the assault.
Ahead of the law changing on 21 March 2022, the Welsh Government is working with key stakeholders to ensure the new law will be implemented in the best way possible.
The legal sector is represented in the implementation work by the Law Society. This includes developing a rehabilitative alternative to prosecution. In cases where the police decide it is appropriate to offer an out of court disposal, there will be an option of tailored parenting support to encourage positive parenting techniques and help avoid re-offending. This additional support will be delivered by local authorities.
Professional guidance and training for the legal sector may be updated to reflect the change in law. It is important that the legal profession is familiar with the change in the law in Wales and what it means for them as professionals and the clients they represent and or advise.
To download the information in English, click here.
To download the information in Welsh, click here.