History Of Corporal Punishment

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Introduction

Corporal punishment is a controversial topic and has been the source of extensive legal debate on a global scale, with evidence being presented to support numerous countering views and opinions. Reasonable corporal punishment in the home is still protected by the law in South Africa, and many South Africans are in support of the continuation of its legality. Although some of the arguments raised are valid, the evidence conveying the harms inflicted on children by physical disciplinary methods supports the viewthat the defense of reasonable disciplinary chastisement in South Africa should be discontinued and corporal punishment should be illegalized in its entirety. The future of corporal punishment is questionable, and with more
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South Africa’s stance towards Corporal punishment has undergone momentous change over recent decades and there is still ongoing discrepancyconcerning the country’s current position toward the controversial topic. All other forms of corporal punishment other than parental corporal punishment have been declared illegal. In 1995, corporal punishment as a sentence imposed on juveniles was declared unconstitutional in the case S v Williams and others. This decision was based on the contravention of fundamental provisions that are entrenched within the constitution. The judgment made was in “accordance with the values which underlie an open and democratic society based on freedom and equality.” In 1996, the use of corporal punishment in schools was also declared unconstitutional. It was prohibited by the South African Schools Act, 1996. After this decision, the only remaining form of legal corporal punishment in South Africa was parental corporal punishment. According to current South African common-law, parents may “inflict moderate and reasonable chastisement on a child.” South African courts determine whether or not the punishment is "reasonable.” The children’s act 38 of 2005 aimed to change parental attitudes towards discipline in order to encourage parents to “safeguard the well-being and best interests of their children, including the promotion of positive, non-violent forms of discipline.” As of 2013, the Department of Social Development is arranging legislation to prohibit parental corporal punishment on the basis of it generating the belief amoungst children that “violence is permissible.” Despite extensive resistance to the prohibition of corporal punishment, its continued legal existence within South Africa is

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