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Inverness-based MSP's smacking ban bill makes progress

By Andrew Dixon

John Finnie.
John Finnie.

A bill by north MSP John Finnie to ban smacking children has received Royal Assent.

It comes after the move was approved by Scottish Parliament last month.

The change to the law will make Scotland the first country in the UK to make it illegal to smack children.

Mr Finnie, the Inverness-based Scottish Greens representative for the Highlands and Islands, said: “I am absolutely delighted to hear that Royal Assent has been granted to my member’s bill.

"This sends a strong message that violence is never acceptable in any setting, and that our children deserve at least the same legal protections that adults enjoy. Physical punishment has no place in 21st century Scotland.

"The international evidence tells us that it can have serious impacts on children, and that it is not effective. Similar legislation is progressing right now in Wales and I hope that we will see similar steps taken in England and Northern Ireland very soon.

“I am extremely proud to have brought forward the legislation that will enhance children’s rights in Scotland and I look forward to the full provisions of the act coming into force.”

The act’s main provision comes into effect on November 6 next year.

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