Corporal Punishment of Children - Supreme Court of Canada

Supreme Court of Canada - Judgment

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SUPREME COURT OF CANADA

JUDGMENT IN APPEAL - OTTAWA, 30/01/04.

THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA HAS TODAY DEPOSITED WITH THE REGISTRAR JUDGMENT IN THE FOLLOWING APPEAL.

COMMENT: comments@scc-csc.gc.ca

(Reasons for judgment)

29113 Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law v. Attorney General in Right of Canada and Focus on the Family (Canada) Association, Canada Family Action Coalition, the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada and Real Women of Canada, together forming the Coalition for Family Autonomy, Canadian Teachers' Federation, Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies, Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, on its own behalf and on behalf of Conseil canadien des organismes provinciaux de défense des droits des enfants et des jeunes and Child Welfare League of Canada (Crim.) (Ont.) 2004 SCC 4 / 2004 CSC 4

Coram: McLachlin C.J. and Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour, LeBel and Deschamps JJ.

The appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Number C34749, dated January 15, 2002, heard on June 6, 2003 is dismissed with the parties bearing their own costs throughout, Binnie J. dissenting in part, Arbour and Deschamps JJ. dissenting.

The constitutional questions are answered as follows:

1. Does s. 43 of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, infringe the rights of children under s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Answer: No. Arbour J. would answer yes. Deschamps J. would answer that it is unnecessary to decide this question.

2. If so, is the infringement a reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society within the meaning of s. 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Answer: It is unnecessary to decide this question. Arbour J. would answer no.

3. Does s. 43 of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, infringe the rights of children under s. 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Answer: No. Arbour and Deschamps JJ. would answer that it is unnecessary to decide this question.

4. If so, is the infringement a reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society within the meaning of s. 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Answer: It is unnecessary to decide this question.

5. Does s. 43 of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, infringe the rights of children under s. 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Answer: No. Binnie and Deschamps JJ. would answer yes. Arbour J. would answer that it is unnecessary to decide this question.

6. If so, is the infringement a reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society within the meaning of s. 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Answer: It is unnecessary to decide this question. Binnie J. would answer yes in relation to parents and persons standing in the place of a parent, but no in relation to teachers. Deschamps J. would answer no.


Coat of Arms
COUR SUPRÊME DU CANADA

JUGEMENT SUR APPEL- OTTAWA, 30/01/04.

LA COUR SUPRÊME DU CANADA A DPOS AUJOURD'HUI AUPRS DE LA REGISTRAIRE LE JUGEMENT DANS L'APPEL SUIVANT.
SOURCE: COUR SUPRÊME DU CANADA (613) 995-4330

COMMENTAIRES: comments@scc-csc.gc.ca

L'appel interjeté contre l'arrêt de la Cour d'appel de l'Ontario, numéro C34749, en date du 15 janvier 2002, entendu le 6 juin 2003, est rejet et chacune des parties supportera ses propres dépens dans toutes les cours. Le juge Binnie est dissident en partie. Les juges Arbour et Deschamps sont dissidentes. Les questions constitutionnelles reçoivent les réponses suivantes :

1. L'article 43 du Code criminel, L.R.C. 1985, ch. C-46, porte-t-il atteinte aux droits que l'art. 7 de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés garantit aux enfants?

Réponse : Non. La juge Arbour répondrait oui. La juge Deschamps estime qu'il n'est pas nécessaire de répondre cette question.

2. Dans l'affirmative, s'agit-il d'une atteinte porte par une règle de droit dans des limites raisonnables et dont la justification peut se démontrer dans une société libre et démocratique, au sens de l'article premier de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés?

Réponse : Il n'est pas nécessaire de répondre cet te question. La juge Arbour répondrait non.

3. L'article 43 du Code criminel, L.R.C. 1985, ch. C-46, porte-t-il atteinte aux droits que l'art. 12 de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés garantit aux enfants?

Réponse : Non. Les juges Arbour et Deschamps estiment qu'il n'est pas nécessaire de répondre cette question.

4. Dans l'affirmative, s'agit-il d'une atteinte porte par une règle de droit dans des limites raisonnables et dont la justification peut se démontrer dans une société libre et démocratique, au sens de l'article premier de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés?

Réponse : Il n'est pas nécessaire de répondre cette question.

5. L'article 43 du Code criminel, L.R.C. 1985, ch. C-46, porte-t-il atteinte aux droits que le par. 15(1) de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés garantit aux enfants?

Réponse : Non. Les juges Binnie et Deschamps répondraient oui. La juge Arbour estime qu'il n'est pas nécessaire de répondre cette question.

6. Dans l'affirmative, s'agit-il d'une atteinte porte par une règle de droit dans des limites raisonnables et dont la justification peut se démontrer dans une société libre et démocratique, au sens de l'article premier de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés?

Réponse : Il n'est pas nécessaire de répondre cette question. Le juge Binnie répondrait oui en ce qui concerne les pres et mres, ou toute personne qui les remplace, et non en ce qui concerne les instituteurs. La juge Deschamps répondrait non.


The decision itself is available online at: http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca.

Psychology Today

How Spanking Harms the Brain

Why spanking should be outlawed.

Psychology Today,  February 12, 2012,  by Molly S. Castelloe, Ph.D. in The Me in We

Spanking erodes developmental growth in children and decreases a child's IQ, a recent Canadian study shows.

This analysis, conducted at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, offers new evidence that corporal punishment causes cognitive impairment and long-term developmental difficulties.

Debates around physical punishment typically revolve around the ethics of using violence to enforce discipline. This inquiry synthesized 20 years of published research on the topic and aims to "shift the ethical debate over corporal punishment into the medical sphere," says Joan Durant, a professor at University of Manitoba and one of the authors of the study.

According to the report, spanking may reduce the brain's grey matter, the connective tissue between brain cells. Grey matter is an integral part of the central nervous system and influences intelligence testing and learning abilities. It includes areas of the brain involved in sensory perception, speech, muscular control, emotions and memory. Additional research supports the hypothesis that children and adolescents subjected to child abuse and neglect have less grey matter than children who have not been ill-treated. Read More ..

Don't Spank

Canadian Paediatric Society - Spanking

Don't Spank - Canadian Paediatric Society

Effective discipline for children

Reaffirmed: February 1, 2014

Principal author(s)

P Nieman, S Shea; Canadian Paediatric Society, Community Paediatrics Committee

Paediatric Child Health 2004;9(1):37-41

The word discipline means to impart knowledge and skill - to teach. However, it is often equated with punishment and control. There is a great deal of controversy about the appropriate ways to discipline children, and parents are often confused about effective ways to set limits and instill self-control in their child.

In medical and secular literature, there is great diversity of opinion about the short-term and long-term effects of various disciplinary methods, especially the use of disciplinary spanking. This statement reviews the issues concerning childhood discipline and offers practical guidelines for physicians to use in counselling parents about effective discipline.

The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that physicians take an anticipatory approach to discipline, including asking questions about techniques used in the home. Physicians should actively counsel parents about discipline and should strongly discourage the use of spanking. Read More ..

Corporal Punishment Damaging to Children

ABC News USA - Spanking children Leads to aggression

Spanking May Lead to Aggression Later in Life

ABC TV, USA
07 February, 2012

Physical punishment of children, such as spanking, is increasingly linked with long-term adverse consequences, researchers wrote.

An analysis of research conducted since the 1990 adoption of the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child suggests that no studies have found positive consequences of physical punishment, according to Joan Durrant of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, and Ron Ensom of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa.

While some studies have found little effect either way, most research has uncovered a range of negative outcomes, including increased aggression and later delinquency, Durrant and Ensom wrote online in CMAJ.

The clinical implication, they suggested, is that doctors who are familiar with the research can help parents find more constructive ways of providing discipline.

"In doing so, physicians strengthen child well-being and parent-child relationships at the population level," they wrote.

They noted that as recently as 1992, physical punishment of children was widely accepted, thought of as distinct from abuse, and considered "appropriate" as a way of eliciting desired behavior.

But research under way at that time was beginning to draw links between physical punishment and aggression in childhood, later delinquency, and spousal assault.   Read More ..

Picture Supreme Court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada -
Cour suprême du Canada

Corporal Punishment of Children Decision

Read More ..

Alyson Schafer - parent educator - corporal punishment of children and discipline

Alyson Schafer on Spanking and Corporal Punishment of Children

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada's leading parenting experts. She's the author of the best-selling "Breaking the Good Mom Myth" (Wiley, 2006) and host of TV's The Parenting Show a live call-in show in Toronto, Ontario.

The media relies on Alyson's comments and opinions. you can find her interviewed and quoted extensively in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Readers' Digest, Canadian Living, Today's Parents, and Canadian Families.

You can read Alyson's thoughts. Read More ..

Laws on Corporal Punishment of Children from around the World

CTV - Parent education - Parenting style can change child behaviour

Parenting style can change child behaviour

CTV.ca News Staff, February 21, 2005

Parents who are punitive tend to have aggressive children. But a new survey suggests that when parenting practices change, a child's behaviour also changes.

The results of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) suggests children show higher levels of aggression, are more anxious and less altruistic when parents have a more punitive parenting style.