The sort of people who still hit their children are in for some bad news, should they be able to read or comprehend current affairs, as Scotland's lawmakers have passed a bill that fully outlaws the smacking of children. Even softly. Threatening to do it is still fine, but they'll eventually work out that it never happens.
Previously, Scotland's laws said parents were allowed to use a "reasonable chastisement" or "justifiable assault" claim, which meant it was OK as long as no massive bruises were left and broom handles or rolled-up newspapers weren't used. Now though, the new laws mean smacking a child in any form is to be treated with the same severity as hitting an adult, so you'll be done for assault should there be witnesses or it little Oliver bravely dials 999 on his red and yellow Fisher-Price Parental Attack Notification Play Set while dad is muttering expletives in the kitchen.
The new law was the very well loved child of Scottish Green Party MSP John Finnie, who said: "I am extremely proud to have brought forward the legislation that will enhance children's rights in Scotland and believe that today we have taken a huge step toward making Scotland the best country in the world for children to grow up in." [BBC]