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TitleAn analysis of the South African common law defence of moderate and reasonable child chastisement
AuthorMaqhosha, Noluthando
SubjectCommon law
SubjectCorporal punishment
Format100 leaves
AbstractThe study sought to analyse the South African common law defence of moderate and reasonable child chastisement. Regarded by those with religious and cultural beliefs as a way of instilling child discipline, child chastisement has been a centre of contestation in recent years. Constitutionally, children have rights to care, dignity and protection. Thus, child chastisement infringes upon these rights. However, regardless of its intentions, child chastisement has an effect of inflicting pain onto its victims thereby infringing on their rights to human dignity, equality and protection. It can also lead to unintended consequences such as injury or death to its victims. Subjecting children to this cruel, inhuman and degrading action affects the development of children and sometimes haunts them at a later stage in life. In addition, child chastisement lacks the measure of determining whether it is moderate or severe, thereby making it prone to abuse or misuse. The study used a qualitative research paradigm, where data was collected from existing documents and analysed towards understanding child chastisement and finding sustainable ways of improving child welfare in the home or in society. The study also analysed the legal framework on child welfare and chastisement globally, regionally and locally. Instruments such as the UNCRC, ACRWC and the UDHR have a clear stance abolishing child chastisement. The study established that, despite the existence of global instruments promoting child care and protection, the common law defence of corporal punishment in the home and society remains a loophole that needs closing and enactment of laws that outlaws it completely.
PublisherUniversity of Fort Hare
PublisherFaculty of Law