Jury trials ruled out for smacking

This is dangerous for parents. Parents should have a right to choose to be tried by their peers on smacking cases. Juries can apply common sense to the charges and to the law!

Jury trials ruled out for smacking
NZ Herald Nov 16, 2010 

The Government is proposing to end the right of a defendant to elect trial by jury for about 80 offences, including smacking a child. The move to limit jury trials to more serious and complex cases is expected to cut the number of jury trials by between 1000 and 1400 annually. The move is part of a package of sweeping reforms announced yesterday by Justice Minister Simon Power in a bid to reduce the time cases take and simplify the criminal justice system.

….Bob McCoskrie, the national director of Family First, which opposed Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking law, said that while Mr Power’s reforms were well intentioned, the Government had not thought through the implications for parents “prosecuted for minor acts of physical discipline or smacking”. The proposed regime suggested that assault, including domestic assaults, were a more minor offence yet a conviction for assault was actually a serious conviction. “It is vital that parents have theright retained to be judged by their peers.” The opposition Labour Party’s associate justice spokesman, Charles Chauvel, said that while some change in the threshold for jury trials made sense, Labour would reserve its position until it had heard select committee submissions.

UPDATE: Interviewed by Newstalk ZB’s Larry Williams – listen HERE



3 comments for “Jury trials ruled out for smacking

  1. Margaret Cahill
    16 November 2010 at 9:17 pm

    So then it will all be down to the discretion of the policeman who is called to the so called ‘crime’ and the judge who presides over the case? Australia is looking better by the day!

  2. 17 November 2010 at 2:26 am


    The law change *by definition* made something reasonable, illegal. In theory, if a jury could be shown that an action was perfectly reasonable (i.e. not abuse) they would refuse to convict.

  3. Dominic Baron
    17 November 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I regard a “law” created in defiance of the will of the people as expressed in a free and fair referendum as being itself intrinsically illegal. The “parliament” that created that “law” committed a gross act of contempt of the people. It has earned the contempt of the people and I urge all citizens who believe in real democracy to express their contempt for “parliament” at every opportunity.

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