Scots smacking ban consultation launched

A consultation on whether or not smacking should become a criminal offence in Scotland has been launched today.

Scotland’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee is asking the public to give its views on the issue as Green MSP John Finnie’s Bill progresses through Holyrood.

Finnie has openly said that he smacked his own children, including his daughter Ruth Maguire, now an MSP and the committee’s convener, and said they turned out “well-rounded”.

Public opposition

Maguire, who is tasked with scrutinising the legislation, said the Bill had aroused strong views and her committee was “keen to hear from people in Scotland” on the subject.

A 2017 ComRes poll shows the proposed ban is opposed by almost 75 per cent of Scots.

Be Reasonable Scotland, a campaign group supported by The Christian Institute, is spearheading opposition to the ban.

Respecting parental freedom

A spokesman said: “More than 140 countries around the world continue to respect parents’ freedom – and responsibility – to discipline their children appropriately.

“This Bill could see them in the dock for simply tapping their kids on the back of the hand or pulling them away from the side of the road.”

“Children rightly enjoy strong protections from assault. It is highly irresponsible and deeply misleading to suggest otherwise.”

You can join the Be Reasonable campaign at

Related Resources