HSLDA News
February 4, 2004

HSLDA of Canada Involved in Victory for Parental Rights

On January 30, 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to criminalize spanking as a form of parental discipline.

Justice Louise Arbour, the UN's former chief prosecutor in the International War Criminal Tribunal, was adamant that spanking should be criminalized, but fortunately the court disagreed. The court stated that family disruption is far more harmful to children than corporal punishment.

This case first began in 1999 when the Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law argued before an Ontario court to criminalize spanking. Their arguments failed at the trial level and the appellate level and have now been rejected by the Canadian Supreme Court.

"The decision to uphold Section 43 is grounded in the recognition that to criminalize the actions of parents who provide loving guidance and correction to their children would result in ruined lives and broken families. As the court noted, this burden is often borne by the children involved," commented Dallas Miller, Senior Counsel and Executive Director of HSLDA of Canada, and a member of the Coalition for Family Autonomy (CFA).

The four groups comprising the Coalition For Family Autonomy who largely handled the case are Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada, Focus on the Family (Canada), REAL Women of Canada, and Canada Family Action Coalition.