BBC News, June 22, 1998

UK--European Court of Human Rights considers parents' right to hit

The European Court of Human Rights is starting to hear a case that could lead to the United Kingdom being forced to ban corporal punishment.

The case centres on a nine-year-old British Boy who was caned by his stepfather five years ago.

The boy is suing the government under the European Convention on Human Rights.

He alleges Britain failed to protect him from degrating treatment and pumishment, which is outlawed by the convention.

The boy's stepfather was cleared of assault after beating him with a garden cane.

If the court rules in the boy's favour, it would end parents's right to discipline their children by smacking

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