Case law of the European Court of Human Rights
Case of A v. UK, 1998 (parental corporal
Case of Cambell and Cosans v UK,
1982 (corporal punishment as inflicted at school)
Case of Tyrer v. UK, 1978 (prohibition of judicial birching)
Unsuccessful challenges to the Court's position on corporal punishment
September 2000: the ECHR rejected by unanimous vote, without hearing,
an application by individuals associated with a group of Christian private
schools in the UK alleging that implementation of the ban on corporal
punishment in private schools breached parents' rights to freedom of
religion and family life (European Court of Human Rights, 2000).
Seven individuals v. Sweden, 1982 (appealing to the right
to respect for family life)
Philip Williamson and others v. UK, 2000 (appealing to the
right to freedom of religion and family life)
The European Committee of Social Rights
The European Social Charter's Article 17 requires states to protect children
from all forms of ill-treatment. The
European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), the monitoring body of the
Charter, has interpreted this article as requiring a prohibition in legislation against any form of
violence against children, including corporal punishment in all settings
(home, school, etc.). The following are
relevant to corporal punishment lodged with the ECSR.
No. 21/2003 World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) v. Belgium
No. 18/2003 World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) v. Ireland
No. 17/2003 World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) v. Greece
No. 34/2006 World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) v. Portugal
Complaint No. 34/ 2006 / World Organisation Against Torture
(OMCT v Portugal. The European Committee of Social Rights concluded that Portugal
was in violation of Article 17 of
the Revised Charter for failure to "prohibit and penalise in all forms
of violence against children, that is acts or behaviour likely to affect
the physical integrity, dignity, development or psychological well being of
children". Since the ECSR decision
Portugal has modified its penal code to reflect full prohibition.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
Committee of Ministers recommendation Rec(2006)19
on policy to support positive parenting
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1666 (2004) on a Europe-wide ban of corporal
punishment of children.
See also the recommendation's explanatory report.
Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1778 (2007) on child victims:
stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse / Click on "Doc.
11118" at the end of the recommendation for the report prepared by the
Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (rapporteur: Charles Gardetto)