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The Defence of Domestic Discipline

Section 280 of the Criminal Code Act 1899, makes it lawful for a parent or carer to use such force to a child as is reasonable in the circumstances for the purposes of correction, discipline, management or control. This can be used as a defence against a charge of assault in some circumstances.

Who May Rely on The Defence?

A person charged with assault may rely on this defence if they were a parent or carer of the child.

What the Prosecution Must Prove

The prosecution must satisfy beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • the defendant’s actions were not by way of correction, discipline, management or control of the person’s child; or
  • that the force used was not reasonable.

If the prosecution cannot prove the above elements, the defendant is entitled to be acquitted.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Michelle Makela

This article was written by Michelle Makela

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

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