It has emerged that a church in Australia has backed the right of parents to smack their children, as it opposes a push towards a ban on corporal punishment.
The 600,000-strong Presbyterian Church has a fear that parents could be stopped from using corporal punishment as yet another state moves to ban smacking, News.com.au reports.
AdvertisementUnder Queensland law, parents are allowed to use 'reasonable force' when disciplining their children.
In a submission to a state Parliamentary inquiry, the church said the charter could be used to dump the common law right to smack children provided the 'force wasn't unreasonable or excessive,' the report said.
"Many Australian families use reasonable physical discipline from time to time," the church said.
"There is a significant body of research confirming its utility in raising children well," it added.
The Presbyterian church submission said Australia was being pressured to ban corporal punishment by a United Nations committee overseeing implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.