It is illegal to spank your child
(1) Every parent of a child and every person in the place of a parent of the child is justified in using force if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances and is for the purpose of—
- (a) preventing or minimising harm to the child or another person; or
- (b) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage in conduct that amounts to a criminal offence; or
- (c) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage in offensive or disruptive behaviour; or
- (d) performing the normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) or in any rule of common law justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction.
(3) Subsection (2) prevails over subsection (1).
(4) To avoid doubt, it is affirmed that the Police have the discretion not to prosecute complaints against a parent of a child or person in the place of a parent of a child in relation to an offence involving the use of force against a child, where the offence is considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in proceeding with a prosecution.
Section 59: substituted, on 21 June 2007, by section 5 of the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 (2007 No 18).