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27th May 2015

Is it time to ban smacking for once and for all? Europe to rule on Irish law

The Council of Europe is expected to rule on Ireland’s corporal punishment laws later today.

While corporal punishment was banned in schools in 1982, up until now ‘reasonable chastisement’ has been defended in Irish law as a parent’s right in disciplining their child at home. It could also be used as a defence if action is taken against a parent in court.

UK charity the Association for the Protection of All Children (Approach) has alleged that this loop hole puts Ireland in breach of the European Social Charter and “allows parents and some other adults to assault children with impunity”.

The United Nations as well as leading children’s charities including the ISPCC and Barnardos have long campaigned for the law to be changed.


The Council of Europe is expected to rule against the current law.