06/09/2006

NICCY challenges law to end physical assault of children

The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People has this week applied for a Judicial Review on a proposed new legislation about the physical punishment of children - Article 2 of the Law Reform Order 2006.

The new laws will make it illegal for parents to hit a child only if it results in lasting harm or marks – a legislation which is already in force in England and Wales.

The NICCY Commissioner, Barney McNeany, lodged papers with the High Court on Monday afternoon, seeking leave for a judicial review to take place.

The Commissioner believes that the introduction of the new legislation is a breach of children’s right to protection, and the government is failing in its duties to promote and protect the rights and best interests of children, particularly those of young children and babies.

The leave hearing, at which a High Court judge will decide if the Commissioner has permission to have the judicial review heard, will take place at the High Court in Belfast on Tuesday September 12.

(EF/KMcA)

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