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Bradford Bill Will "Reduce Parental Authority"

Bradford Bill Will "Reduce Parental Authority"

Repeal of Section 59 will cause all parents, grandparents and caregivers to become criminals by definition, whether they are ever charged or not, should they use any force whatsoever to correct, train or discipline children.

Both Police Commissioner Robinson and Police Commissioner Broad have confirmed in writing that should Section 59 ever go, parents would no longer be authorised to use reasonable force by way of correction. Traditional parenting activity would join robbery and speeding as criminal activity whether one is caught, charged or not. Every parent, grandparent and caregiver in the land who used any force, however light, or even the threat of force would automatically fall foul of the definition of assault in Section 2 of the Crimes Act and be constantly exposed to a charge of criminal assault under Section 194(a) of the Crimes Act, worth as much as two years in jail.

Despite Bradford's disingenuous protests that this is not her intention, it is precisely what she outlines in the Bill's Explanatory Note. She even says common law precedent should not be called upon to justify parental use of such force: it must always be regarded as outside the protection of the law.

Bradford's Bill has from the beginning stated her desire to reduce all parental authority to near zero. It does nothing to reduce violence; it will instead reduce overall discipline and that will increase violence across the board. This Bill must be decisively dumped.


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