Yahoo News 26 November 2015
The federal government has no immediate plans to review section 43 of the Criminal Code, despite renewed calls to repeal Canada’s so-called spanking law.
The Code states “every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances.”
In a landmark case, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the law in 2004 in a 6-3 decision.
The court was clear that there are limitations to the use of force: it cannot involve children under two or over 12 years of age, or a disabled child of any age; it cannot be “degrading, inhuman or harmful” or include the use of objects like belts or rulers; it cannot involve “slaps or blows to the head.”
“These types of punishment, we may conclude, will not be reasonable,” the majority of judges agreed.
Spanking that is “only minor corrective force of a transitory and trifling nature” is allowed, the court ruled, concluding that the provision does not violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it does not infringe a child’s rights to security of the person or a child’s right to equality, and it does not constitute cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.