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Explanatory Memorandum to Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006

The Defence of Reasonable Chastisement

4.In A v UK [1998] the European Court of Human Rights held that the UK had breached Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention”) by failing to provide a young boy with adequate protection from inhuman and degrading treatment in the form of beatings from his step-father. When the matter was before the domestic courts the step-father had relied on the defence of reasonable chastisement. Following the judgment the UK undertook to review the operation of the defence and introduce measures which would prevent a repeat of the violation found by the Court.

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