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.
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