Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007

The Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 (formerly the Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill) is an amendment to New Zealand's Crimes Act 1961 which removed the legal defence of "reasonable force" for parents prosecuted for assault on their children.

The law was introduced to the New Zealand Parliament as a private members bill by Green Party Member of Parliament Sue Bradford in 2005, after being drawn from the ballot. It drew intense debate, both in Parliament and from the public. The bill was colloquially referred to by several of its opponents and newspapers as the "anti-smacking bill". The bill was passed on its third reading on 16 May 2007 by 113 votes to seven. The Governor-General of New Zealand granted the bill Royal Assent on 21 May 2007, and the law came into effect on 21 June 2007.

A citizens-initiated referendum on the issues surrounding the law was held between 30 July and 21 August 2009, asking Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?. Despite widespread criticism of the question's wording, the referendum was returned with an 87.4 percent "No" vote on a turnout of 56.1 percent.

Read more about Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007:  Legal Context, Social Context, Political Context, Debate and Aftermath, Reactions and Opinions, Referendum Proposals

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Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 - Referendum Proposals
... was supported by Family First New Zealand, the ACTParty and The Kiwi Party ... Under the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act1993, Cabinet could delay a vote on the issue for up to a year ... The referendum was non-binding (as specified by New Zealand'sCitizens Initiated Referenda Act1993), and thus does not compel the government to follow its result ...

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