Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Suggested amendment to Bradford's bill

In essence, we are asking that Sections 2 and 3 be removed from the bill.

Here is how Bradford's Anti-Smacking bill currently reads:

(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 police have the discretion not to
prosecute complaints against parents of any child, or those standing in
place of any 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 pursuing a prosecution.

----------------------------

The bill as it would read with the proposed ammendment:

(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 ) To avoid doubt it is affirmed that police have the discretion not
to prosecute complaints against parents of any child, or those standing
in place of any 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 pursuing a
prosecution.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too late now, I suppose, but in hindsight maybe it would have been better if the alternative choice of amending S59 simply to spell out very clearly what exactly could be deemed as "above & beyond reasonable force" had been made. Surely this would have been enough to remove the defence of S59 in clear cases of abuse rather than discipline & would then have criminalised only the deserving few rather than the undeserving many.

Andy Moore said...

Dead right, anon.

That would have been way better than what it looks like the law is going to become.

But it is not too late: email especially the National, United Future and NZ First MPs, and ask them to do what you have suggested.

They will listen to you, and hopefully act upon what you and many other upset citizens are asking them to do.

Good on ya mate!

Anonymous said...

Consider your suggestions done. However, I'm not getting all emotional about this issue. Everything I'm thinking on this whole issue is perfectly calm and rational.

It never ceases to amaze me how easily so many people fall into the habit of fixating so intently on some extreme position on both sides of an argument that they are completely unable to see the simplest and most obvious solutions to any particular problem. The simplest solutions often cause the least trouble and upset for all concerned, if they could only see it.

I see you've been having a little trouble with comments from literary characters, a "Roman nobleman" and a few other anonymous people of one sort or another. That might be just one problem for you. Another one which I think you might too easily overlook is the sensational emotionalism of one of your listed contributors Dad4Justice. Any calm and rational person reading some of his comments could easily dismiss him as being of exactly the same ilk as those others I've mentioned. Does he intend to create that sort of impression? If not, I suggest he keeps his conspiracy theories right out of his correspondence. As far as I'm concerned rational behaviour and commentary is even more important than the issue of discipline, regardless of anyone's particular take on how the latter is best achieved.

Andy Moore said...

Brother, to some the threat is much more real.

I will be a parent (hopefully) within 5 - 10 years.

Dad4Justice is a loving father of four children, but due to problems with CYFS, is not able to see them.

I don't prefer the anonymous posters, but worse are the smart-alecks who post under bizzare names.

Anonymous said...

I've no reason to doubt your comments on Dad4Justice, but that is actually all the more reason why it is important for him to at least appear calm to outsiders such as CYFS. Failure to do so simply reinforces whatever prejudices they may already hold against him. Just trying to offer sound advice - take it or leave it.

Generally those who argue from a firm foundation of facts will eventually overcome any arguments based on emotional wishful thinking alone. This applies to everything - not just this issue. I understand CYFS probably has more than its fair share of staff with their own emotional baggage. Anyone who responds to that emotionalism with emotion is simply fighting fire with fire when the cold water or foam of reason would serve their interests better.

Andy Moore said...

Cheers mate, I see what you're saying, but.

Between 59% and 83% of Kiwis don't want Bradford's bill.

So why the heck is this bill being passed, when, if any value is placed on democracy, it should come to a Nation-wide public referendum.