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

Main Elements of the Order

8.The Order has four main Articles. Article 2 largely follows section 58 of the Children Act 2004 (c.31) by restricting the defence of reasonable chastisement to a charge of common assault and precluding its use on more serious charges, such as wounding, causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm or cruelty to persons under sixteen. It also precludes the use of the defence in a claim for civil damages where the harm caused amounted to actual bodily harm.

9.Articles 3 to 5 consist mainly of a series of repeals of impugned provisions in existing legislation which prevent certain persons from marrying. They also repeal as yet uncommenced provisions of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 which are indirectly impugned by the European Court’s judgment.

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