New South Wales Consolidated Acts
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CRIMES ACT 1900 - SECT 61AA
Defence of lawful correction
61AA Defence of lawful correction
(1) In criminal proceedings brought against a person arising out of the
application of physical force to a child, it is a defence that the force was
applied for the purpose of the punishment of the child, but only if:
physical force was applied by the parent of the child or by a
person acting for a parent of the child, and
(b) the application of that
physical force was reasonable having regard to the age, health, maturity or
other characteristics of the child, the nature of the alleged misbehaviour or
(2) The application of physical force, unless that force
could reasonably be considered trivial or negligible in all the circumstances,
is not reasonable if the force is applied:
(a) to any part of the head or neck
of the child, or
(b) to any other part of the body of the child in such a way
as to be likely to cause harm to the child that lasts for more than a short
(3) Subsection (2) does not limit the circumstances in which the
application of physical force is not reasonable.
(4) This section does not
derogate from or affect any defence at common law (other than to modify the
defence of lawful correction).
(5) Nothing in this section alters the common
law concerning the management, control or restraint of a child by means of
physical contact or force for purposes other than punishment.
(6) In this
"child" means a person under 18 years of age.
"parent" of a child means a person having all the duties, powers,
responsibilities and authority in respect of the child which, by law, parents
have in relation to their children.
"person acting for a parent" of a child means a person:
(i) is a
step-parent of the child, a de facto partner of a parent of the child, a
relative (by blood or marriage) of a parent of the child or a person to whom
the parent has entrusted the care and management of the child, and
authorised by a parent of the child to use physical force to punish the child,
(b) who, in the case of a child who is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait
Islander (within the meaning of the Children and Young Persons (Care and
Protection) Act 1998 ), is recognised by the Aboriginal or Torres Strait
Islander community to which the child belongs as being an appropriate person
to exercise special responsibilities in relation to the child.
Note : "De facto partner" is defined in section 21C of the Interpretation Act
(7) This section does not apply to proceedings arising out of an
application of physical force to a child if the application of that force
occurred before the commencement of this section.
(8) The Attorney General is
to review this section to determine whether its provisions continue to be
appropriate for securing the policy objectives of the section. The review is
to be undertaken as soon as possible after the period of 3 years from the
commencement of this section. A report on the outcome of the review is to be
tabled in each House of Parliament within 6 months after the end of the period
of 3 years.
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