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Domestic Laws Of Countries Prohibiting All Corporal Punishment Of Children: The Peculiar Situations Of Italy And Portugal

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Chapter Summary

In relation to corporal punishment of children, Italy presently occupies a rather curious position in the international arena. In 1996 Italy's Supreme Court of Cassation issued the Cambria decision, ruling in no uncertain terms that parental corporal punishment of children as child rearing praxis is illegal in that country. Before examining Cambria more closely, an explanation is in order as to why the case leaves Italy in rather awkward straits. In 1994 the Supreme Court of Portugal issued a decision repudiating corporal punishment for child rearing purposes in that country. The Cambria case involved the systematic subjugation of a child through grievous violence. In addition, between 1975 and 1995, the Supreme Court issued a series of decisions that were directed toward further inhibiting the use of force against children in some institutional settings. These domestic reforms correspond to certain developments in the international human rights regime governing Italy.

Keywords: Cambria decision; corporal punishment of children; domestic laws; international human rights regime; Italy's supreme court of cassation; supreme court of Portugal



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