Friday, June 26, 2009

Legal defence for criminal activity

Bob has a child. He is misbehaving. Bob has visitors and the child is yelling and just acting up. Bob can't hear his visitors talk. The boy is told to be quiet and an attempt is made to continue the conversation. But the boy keeps yelling to the point where conversation is getting pointless. As Bob wants to communicate with his visitors, he wants the boy to stop being so disruptive. Telling him to be quiet hasn't worked so he smacks him. The boy stops.

But one of Bob's visitors works for Barnardos, and although she is happy that she can now converse, she later reports the smack to the police who prosecute Bob for assault.

Bob rings you as you are his lawyer. What would you do once you hear Bob's story?

Here's the legislation.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

My understanding is that Bob would have a defense under section 59 section 1C - 'preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage in offensive or disruptive behaviour'.

Also, how come the term 'good care and parenting' in section 1d is OK when it's in law, but the term 'good parental correction' is criticized by the very same people who rewrote the law?

June 26, 2009 at 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Bob McCoskrie said...

That comment about 'good care and parenting' and 'good parental correction' is exactly right. Well spotted!!!

June 26, 2009 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger Swimming said...

Also, - which I think is important - section 59(3) does not apply.

In terms of good parental correction v good care and parenting, I guess the former is criticised because those who criticise it do not see correction as good care and parenting.

So if the referendum question was "should a smack as part of good care and parenting be a criminal offence in New Zealand" the question would not have been approved by the clerk - at least should not have been, because the only case it is not a criminal offence in terms of physical discipline is when it is used in terms of correction.

June 26, 2009 at 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So who defines 'good'? Is it defined by the majority of a nation or by the minority in power?


June 26, 2009 at 11:23 AM  

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