TASMANIA may be the first Australian state to ban parents from smacking their children.
A Tasmanian Law Reform Institute issues paper, released yesterday, said law on the physical punishment of children, which allows parents to use force that is "reasonable in the circumstances", was unclear.
It gave no guide to parents and made prosecutions difficult even in cases of child abuse.
The institute said the law should be reformed either by banning physical punishment or defining what was reasonable. However, the balance of its arguments indicated that the institute, which will make its final recommendations to the State Government early next year after a period for public comment, is moving towards a ban.