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The Corporal Punishment of Children in New Zealand: the Power of Parental Rights in New Zealand

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Chapter Summary

The corporal punishment of children encompasses age discrimination in terms of the extent that it allows discriminatory treatment as between children and adults. This chapter constitutes an overview of some of the historical and philosophical background to corporal punishment. It discusses the critique of some of the recent academic debate regarding the corporal punishment of children. The chapter also presents an overview of human rights treaty provisions that may be, and have been, interpreted as prohibiting corporal punishment. It then provides an international and comparative analysis of New Zealand's stance on the defence of domestic discipline in terms of comments made by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. The chapter finally focuses on the consideration by the New Zealand courts of the notion of children's rights in cases where section 59 of the Crimes Act is used to allow parental rights to override those of the child.

Keywords: age discrimination; children's rights; corporal punishment; crimes act; domestic discipline; human rights treaty; New Zealand; parental rights



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