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The British Government said:

It is an insult to ordinary, decent parents to suggest that they cannot distinguish between smacking (spanking) and criminal violence, or that one usually leads to the other.

Government Responses to Reports from the Committee”, Session 2005-06, paras. 82, 85, 86: HL 104, HC 850 (printed January 23, 2006). Further,

The Government supports parents’ freedom and responsibility:

“The Government believes that, within the boundaries set by law, the use of physical punishment is a matter for individual parents to decide. It is an insult to ordinary, decent parents to suggest that they cannot distinguish between smacking and criminal violence, or that one usually leads to the other.

“The Government supports parents’ freedom and responsibility to choose what is best for their own families. Nevertheless, criminal violence or abuse will not be tolerated: adults whose actions overstep the mark must be dealt with by the Courts.

“Article 37(a) requires that “no child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Neither provision obliges a state to criminalise responsible and loving parents or carers for disciplinary acts that have relatively minor and transient physical or mental effects.”