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www.corpun.com   :  Countries A-H

COUNTRY FILES -- INDEX

Laws, rules and procedural details for the administration of corporal punishment, eyewitness accounts, also legal judgments and commentaries

Taken from official documents or reliable reports

with personal comments by C. Farrell


Afghanistan ¦ Anguilla ¦ Antigua & Barbuda ¦ Australia ¦ Austria ¦ Bahamas ¦ Bangladesh ¦ Barbados ¦ Belize ¦ Bermuda ¦ Bhutan ¦ Bolivia ¦ Botswana ¦ Brazil ¦ Brunei ¦ Canada ¦ Chile ¦ China ¦ Colombia | Cyprus ¦ Czech Republic ¦ Denmark ¦ Dominica ¦ Ecuador ¦ Egypt ¦ Estonia ¦ Ethiopia ¦ Fiji ¦ Finland ¦ France ¦ Germany ¦ Ghana ¦ Grenada ¦ Guatemala ¦ Guyana ¦ Hong Kong ¦ India ¦ Indonesia ¦ Iran ¦ Ireland ¦ Isle of Man ¦ Ivory Coast | Jamaica ¦ Japan ¦ Jersey ¦ Jordan ¦ Kenya ¦ Korea ¦ Lithuania ¦ Malaysia ¦ Maldives ¦ Namibia ¦ Nauru ¦ New Zealand ¦ Nigeria ¦ Pakistan ¦ Palestine ¦ Papua New Guinea ¦ Peru ¦ Philippines ¦ Poland ¦ Qatar ¦ Russia ¦ St Vincent ¦ Samoa ¦ Saudi Arabia ¦ Singapore ¦ Sierra Leone ¦ Somalia ¦ South Africa ¦ Sri Lanka ¦ Sudan ¦ Swaziland ¦ Sweden ¦ Switzerland ¦ Taiwan ¦ Tanzania ¦ Thailand ¦ Tonga ¦ Trinidad & Tobago ¦ Tuvalu ¦ Uganda ¦ United Arab Emirates ¦ United Kingdom ¦ United States ¦ US Virgin Islands ¦ Vietnam ¦ Yemen ¦ Zambia ¦ Zimbabwe


blob On this page: countries A-H
blob Countries I-S are here
blob Countries T-Z are here

External links on this page were all working in February or March 2014.
All external links on this page will open in a new window.

NOTE: Items not marked [HISTORY] are believed to be currently in force.

Current online school handbooks of schools which now (2013) use corporal punishment, in ALL countries, are in a separate section starting here.

IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT EXTERNAL LINKS: The existence of a link from this website to an external website must not be taken in any way to imply that the website being linked to has any connection or involvement whatever with this website, or that the owners of the external website approve of or support or endorse this website, or vice versa. The permission of the owner of a publicly available external website is legally not required for normal transparent links of this kind, especially links from an entirely non-commercial site such as this one, and has not been sought. A hyperlink to another website is to be regarded merely as equivalent to quoting a reference to a published book and inviting readers to look for it in a library.

Note: you can search within certain pages of this website, including this one, for items that are new at the latest update. Just type New! into your web browser search box.


flag AFGHANISTAN: Judicial and school CP

In its present war-torn state, Afghanistan is not under the rule of law.
Judicial CP was prevalent in the Taliban era, and it is not certain that it has stopped.
In schools, there is no information about formal CP but there are reports of general brutality.

blob MAIN ARTICLE: For more details, see this separate page.



flag ANGUILLA: Judicial and school CP

Anguilla is one of the surviving British Overseas Territories. Formerly part of St Kitts, it became a separate jurisdiction in 1967.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

As at December 1998, according to this written answer in the UK House of Lords, there was no judicial corporal punishment and no prison CP. (There are no reformatories on the island.) GITEACPOC, however, claims that JCP was not formally abolished until 2000, and that up till then males could be sentenced to it under the Corporal Punishment Ordinance 1967.

    The 1998 Lords answer said that CP was allowed in schools, and GITEACPOC says it still is. One school that is still saying that misbehaving students "will receive lashes" is Road Primary School.


flag ANTIGUA & BARBUDA: Judicial CP

A 1997 news report claimed that Antigua & Barbuda was one of several Caribbean countries that had stopped using JCP under international pressure, but had reinstated it in 1990.

    The local press describes the punishment as "lashes". For examples of court cases in which teenage boys were ordered to receive lashes, see these Feb 2007 news items.

    In 2011 the Attorney-General announced that it was proposed to abolish judicial flogging.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Sentencing of children in Antigua and Barbuda [DOC]
According to this Child Rights Information Network document, females may not be whipped or flogged. Courts can sentence males under 18 to a maximum of 12 strokes with a tamarind rod, applied to the buttocks, for various offences. It is not clear whether or not JCP for adult men is still on the books.



flag ANTIGUA & BARBUDA: School CP

GITEACPOCEXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window reports that the 1973 Education Act allows corporal punishment in schools as a last resort.

    According to this press report, in June 2004 the Education Ministry decided to retain the use of CP, despite pressure from UNICEF to ban it. A spokesman said they were "not willing to have such punishment abolished in the face of tyrannical behaviour exhibited by some students in schools".

    In 2011 the Attorney-General stated that school CP could be administered only by the principal or delegate, and that the government was not going to abolish it because it had public support.



flag AUSTRALIA: Domestic CP

Reasonable corporal punishment in the home is lawful in all Australian states, according to anti-CP agitators GITEACPOC.EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window

    This March 2010 news item reports that this state of affairs is to continue, and that the Australian authorities have no intention of taking any notice of the (wholly unelected and unaccountable) UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which constantly tries to mislead sovereign nations into thinking that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child bans corporal punishment, which is not in fact mentioned in the Convention at all.

    At least, that is what the newspaper headline says. A close reading of the text suggests that it is only the New South Wales government that has specifically rejected the UNCRC's approach, but perhaps it is taken as read that where NSW goes, the rest of the country will follow.

    It was reported in 2011 that a proposal to outlaw parental smacking in the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) was overwhelmingly rejected by residents.


flag AUSTRALIA: Judicial and prison CP [HISTORY]

Judicial corporal punishment was used in Australia in the 19th century and it lasted, in some states, into the middle of the twentieth. Implements used included the cat, the birch, the strap and the cane. The details varied from state to state.


blob MAIN ARTICLE: See this separate page (illustrated) for full details of the history, legislation and modus operandi of JCP in each Australian state.


flag AUSTRALIA: Navy CP [HISTORY]

From these May 1919 news items it is evident that the Australian Navy had on its foundation in 1901 adopted the same regulations for the caning of boy seamen as those applicable in the UK. However, in about 1915 the cane was abolished for use on seagoing ships and retained only on the training ship Tingira and at the Royal Naval College at Jervis Bay. The definition of "serious" offences is word-for-word identical with that of the UK regulations. The number of strokes permissible (six, nine or twelve) is likewise the same. However, there was evidently talk even in 1919 of abolishing CP altogether, and it is not clear whether this actually happened (in Britain, caning on training ships continued until 1967).



flag AUSTRALIA: School CP

The situation varies from State to State. School CP is everywhere banned in government schools, either by law or by administrative regulation. Private schools in Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia may use CP, and a very few are known to do so. CP has been removed from all schools in ACT, NSW, Tasmania and probably now Victoria. Following are the details by State.

Australian Capital Territory: According to this 1997 statement by the state government EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window, CP has been banned since 1988 in state schools and was said to have fallen into disuse in Anglican and Catholic schools, but possibly at that time was still used by some other private schools. GITEACPOC EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window says that it was outlawed in all ACT schools by the Education Act 2004.

New South Wales: CP was abolished in state schools in 1986 and reintroduced in 1988 before being again outlawed in 1995. NSW was unusual in that all canings in government schools, even of boys, were administered to the hands. Since NSW is the dominant state, this has given rise to a myth that all CP in Australia was on the hand, which is not the case.

    In private schools in NSW (many of which were rather "British" and generally caned boys on the backside), CP was banned in 1997.

Northern Territory: A December 2004 document EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window by the Australian Institute of Family Studies claimed that the NT was by then the only part of Australia where CP had not been banned in government schools. This remains the case, but an April 2010 news item quotes the Education Minister as saying that CP is contrary to official policy and is not used.

    In private ("non-government") schools in the NT, it is now a condition of official registration that CP be explicitly rejected, according to this Apr 2011 document [PDF] EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window. Since it is a legal requirement that all such schools be registered, this appears to amount to a complete ban on CP.

Queensland: The official implement was the cane, restricted since 1934 to boys only. CP was abolished by regulation in state schools in 1995 (see external links below) but is still available to private schools, a few of which, especially Christian schools, state that they use it. As of June 2012 the state government had no intention of banning it.

South Australia: a 1956 news report claimed that CP of girls was banned. CP was reportedly abolished in state schools in 1982, although another report said in 1990 that it was still by then only in the process of being phased out. CP is still lawful in both public (government) and private schools; in government schools it was banned by administrative regulation, not by legislation. In Oct 2008 it was reported that the state government was proposing to ban it by law, but in 2012 there were no plans to forbid private schools from using it. The only school known in recent years to have publicly stated that it used CP now appears to have ceased to do so.

Tasmania: Corporal punishment was abolished in all schools in 1999, not in 1994 as claimed by GITEACPOC.

Victoria: the strap on the hand (boys only; girls were exempt) was the official method in state schools; it was abolished in 1983. The state government was reported in 2006 to be in the process of abolishing CP in private schools, not directly but by making registration of each school conditional upon its absence: see this Dec 2005 news item and these Feb 2006 follows-up. It is not clear whether this process has now been completed, but there appears to be no evidence that CP is actually still in use anywhere in Victoria. There have been the usual calls for its return, as in this Apr 2012 news item.

Western Australia: banned in all government schools since 1987, but was found in 2011 to be still in use at a small number of private Christian schools. At least one of these says so publicly. In mid-2012 it was reported that the state government had no plans to outlaw it.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Violence: directions for Australia
1990 document from the Australian Institute of Criminology. Note the assumed polarisation to the extremes: we are told that some authorities regard CP as "essential", while others oppose it as "archaic and excessive". Is it not at least possible that most reasonable people regard it as neither of these things, but somewhere in the large gap between the two?
    Anyway, according to this, CP was restored in New South Wales in November 1988 and was evidently still lawful there in 1990.

Extracts from the regulations of the Department of Education [HISTORY]
A timeline setting out the development of the rules for school CP in Queensland.

Education history - Legal aspects [HISTORY]
Also from the Queensland government, a short history of school CP in the state, mentioning some relevant legal cases. There is a photograph of a cane broken in two, presumably symbolising the 1995 abolition. On this continuation page is an extract from a school punishment book in 1936.

Education Regulations 2000 [PDF]
These are the rules for the State of Victoria under which corporal punishment is prohibited in state (but not private) schools.


blob Other external links for Australia/Schools



flag AUSTRIA and AUSTRIA-HUNGARY: Judicial and military CP [HISTORY] updated

Cadogan (1938) states that judicial CP in Austria had been abolished by the Criminal Code of 1867, the founding year of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, an entity much larger than present-day Austria and Hungary, including what is now Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and parts of Bosnia, Croatia, Italy, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.

    This 1852 news item reports on sentences of "stripes with a rod" being meted out to male and female dissidents.

    Military whipping seems to have been applied throughout Austria-Hungary, despite the claimed absence of official JCP. See these pictures of the equipment used.



flag BAHAMAS, THE: Judicial CP

Judicial corporal punishment in this former British colony in the Caribbean, abolished in 1984, was reintroduced in 1991. It takes two forms, the cat-o'-nine-tails applied to the bare back, and the tamarind rod applied to the bare buttocks. The Privy Council in London, to which the country subscribes as its court of last resort, upheld flogging in 2002 as not contrary to the constitution of The Bahamas (see Pinder v. The Queen in External Links, below).

    Calls for the "return" of JCP in 2002 and again in 2005 suggest that the flogging provision was regarded locally as having fallen into disuse.

    However, new flogging sentences were handed down in October 2006 and in May 2007. The second of these, involving the cat-o'-nine-tails, was thrown out by the appeal court in Feb 2008.

    There was some confusion over the Oct 2006 case: the sentence was initially reported as being of a flogging with the cat, but it later turned out that it was to be eight strokes with the tamarind rod (which as far as can be ascertained is actually a bundle of rods like the Isle of Man birch). Half of this punishment was to be administered at the beginning of the prison sentence and the rest at the end. It has now been revealed that the first four strokes were indeed administered in late 2008.

    Meanwhile, though, the Attorney-General announced in Dec 2008 that the law permitting JCP would be repealed in the next legislative term. This appears to be a policy U-turn following a change of government in 2007.


DOCUMENTS:

Annual return 1937 - Juvenile offenders [HISTORY]
Statistical return sent by the local government to the Colonial Office, with annotations by "Sir Humphrey" after its arrival in London ("They seem to be rather fond of whipping juveniles in Bahamas"). Lists about 120 cases of whippings of boys with the "tamarind rod", probably a kind of birch. The offenders were aged between 9 and 16 inclusive, and the number of strokes ranged from 2 to 12. These figures would seem to call into question a claim by Benson (1937) that there were only 11 cases in 1930 and none at all in 1935.

Bahamas Penal Code, Chapter 48, s.118
Legislation providing for flogging with cat on back (up to 24 strokes) or "rod" on buttocks (up to 12 strokes) for adult male offenders. The punishment could be given in instalments, and only half those numbers of strokes might be administered on any one occasion. The date of introduction is not known. This section was repealed in 1984. When JCP was brought back in 1991, the identical provisions were re-enacted as Part II of the Criminal Law (Measures) Act 1991. All adult floggings must be inflicted in the prison at New Providence.

    However, in a separate clause of the 1991 Act, there is also provision for the whipping of boys under 18 with a "light cane" on the buttocks, not necessarily in New Providence. It seems that these juvenile canings are delivered in police stations, not in the prison. (This would echo pre-1948 UK practice for juvenile JCP.) There are no reports to hand of any actual cases, which could mean either that they never happen in practice, or that juvenile cases don't get reported.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC states that CP is unlawful as a sentence for crime. This is clearly wrong, since a tamarind rod sentence was carried out, having apparently been upheld by the Court of Appeal, in late 2008 (see above).

Criminal Law (Measures) Act, 1991 [PDF]
Here is the legislation which reintroduced judicial CP in The Bahamas. It is made explicit that no sentence of flogging or whipping shall be passed on a female of any age. The section on the caning of boys under 18 (maximum two instalments of 6 strokes each) says that the parent or guardian may be present, and may even carry out the whipping, if the court so decides. Otherwise the punishment is to be delivered by "such other person as the court may approve".

Pinder v The Queen  (Alternative link)
Case in which an armed robber was sentenced in 1997 to a flogging in two instalments of three strokes each. The appeal reached the Privy Council in London (2002), which by 3 votes to 2 upheld the flogging as not unconstitutional, even though the original court had failed to specify with what instrument the strokes were to be inflicted. This law report summarises the Privy Council's decision.

Report of the Special Rapporteur [HISTORY]
UN document (ignore the heading about Pakistan) giving names and dates for two flogging sentences in 1995, reportedly the first since reintroduction in 1991.

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 1995  (Alternative link) [HISTORY]
US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 1996 [HISTORY]
Judicial corporal punishment was abolished in The Bahamas in 1984 but reintroduced in 1991. The 1995 report mentioned that it retains broad public support. The 1996 report curiously fails to mention a case in which a convicted rapist reportedly received his "six strokes of the rod" before his time for appealing had elapsed -- see this August 1996 news item.

Amnesty International Report 1998 [HISTORY]  (Alternative link)
Cites a case of judicial caning ordered in 1997.

Amnesty International Report 1999  (Alternative link)
States that there was a retrial in the above-mentioned 1997 case, and corporal punishment was not part of the new sentence.

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2000
The 1997, 1998 and 1999 reports repeat the 1996 wording, but the 2000 document gives more detail. Caning (presumably this means the juvenile canings mentioned earlier) is "permitted at police stations but only if performed by a sergeant or higher ranking official" -- but there is no indication as to how often this is invoked -- while the cat-o-nine-tails is allowed in prisons but used rarely.

Amnesty International Report 2001  (Alternative link)
Judicial caning remained on the statute book in 2000, but no new sentences were imposed or carried out.

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2001
US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2002
No JCP was ordered in 2001 or 2002, according to these reports, and the "cat" had not been used for several years. (The 2003, 2004 and 2005 reports do not mention CP at all.)

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2006
Mentions the 2006 flogging sentence referred to above. (The 2007 and 2008 USSD reports add nothing new.)


flag BAHAMAS, THE: Prison CP

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Prison Rules [PDF]
Section 243 provides that, for certain specified offences, the chairman plus two members of the committee may order a male prisoner to receive punishment with a tamarind rod. For very serious offences by a prisoner over 18, they may recommend the cat-o'-nine-tails, but that has to be approved by the Governor-General. There is a maximum of 24 strokes for prisoners over 18, and 12 strokes below that age.



flag BAHAMAS, THE: School CP

Corporal punishment, sometimes referred to locally as "flogging", is lawful in schools in The Bahamas and remains in use.

    According to this March 2007 news item, in state schools it is a requirement that CP be recorded in a book. There is some confusion about the implements to be used.

    A Junior High School principal is quoted in this June 2008 news item as saying that he uses the cane, but if he doesn't happen to have a cane to hand he will use his belt. The report also quotes an education department official as saying that CP may be administered only by headmaster and senior masters/mistresses, not by ordinary class teachers.

    In Dec 2008 the Attorney-General confirmed this rule, adding that the government had no intention of changing the law that permits school CP.

    In March 2013 there was a fuss about a mass caning at a junior high school. It was reported that boys had been caned on the buttocks, while girls were caned on the hands.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Teen Pregnancy on the Rise
Item from Radio Abaco (April 2001) summarises the Bahamas Ministry of Education's rules for the application of corporal punishment in schools with "a bamboo cane" (I suspect they really mean rattan; bamboo is too rigid and brittle). This appears to conflict with a Feb 1999 report quoting an Education Minister as saying that caning was no longer authorised, and that only a flat paddle or ruler might be used. The person administering the punishment must be of the same sex as the student.

blob Other external links for Bahamas/Schools



flag BANGLADESH: Judicial CP

Bangladesh was formerly East Pakistan, and before 1947 part of India. Its population is mainly Moslem but it is officially a secular state, with no Islamic law in criminal matters. However, the judicial system is corrupt and ramshackle, and vigilante "justice" is common, according to US State Department reports. Unofficial traditional courts of village elders ("salish") in rural areas have imposed whippings. See this June 1987 news item about a case in which a young man and woman were publicly flogged for adultery. And in October 1995 another young woman was given 101 lashes for similar reasons.

    However, in July 2010 the High Court outlawed punishments handed down by religious edict. This puts paid, in theory, to public floggings of women for adultery, but did not prevent two youths being caned the same month by order of village elders, whose legal status is unclear, for harassing a schoolgirl.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC says that, quite apart from the unofficial floggings mentioned above, Bangladesh has not repealed the Indian Code of Criminal Procedure of 1898, under which male offenders under 16 may be ordered to receive up to 15 strokes of the cane. I have never come across any reports of this actually happening, and various "human rights" reports do not mention it.

Report of the Special Rapporteur (1996)
Mentions public floggings (usually of women) ordered by local village councils.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1998
A 14-year-old girl was given 101 lashes for being raped; a woman and her husband were given 101 lashes and had their heads shaved. These punishments were ordered by "local arbitrators", not the official courts.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2000
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2001
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2002
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2003
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2004
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2005
The whipping by unofficial rural courts of women accused of moral offences continued in successive years. Each year's report gives the number of cases reported (usually fewer than 20). However, the 2006 report, and subsequent annual reports up to 2009, do not specifically mention flogging or whipping.



flag BANGLADESH: Reformatory CP

Institutions originally known as correction centres, now renamed development centres or KUKs, are run by the Department of Social Services for juvenile delinquents. Under the Childrens Rules, inmates may receive "caning not exceeding ten stripes" for violating any of 30 stipulated rules of conduct.

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Juvenile Crime on the Rise: Correction centres not much of help [sic]
Article in the Daily Star, Dhaka (July 2008) refers to the above-mentioned rules.

GITEACPOC adds that the upper age limit under these rules is 16. The cane must be applied to either the palm of the hand or the buttocks, and a medical officer should be present.


flag BANGLADESH: School CP

As long ago as 1999, the Prime Minister called for guidelines to end physical punishment. However, CP remained lawful and nothing more was heard until 2010, when it was suddenly announced that the government, acting on an order from the High Court, had banned corporal punishment in all schools.
    For an example of fairly mild classroom CP being carried out on a group of secondary schoolboys before the legal ban took effect, see this video clip.
    In August 2013 it was reported that the government was proposing a law that would provide for the fining and/or imprisonment of teachers who use CP.



flag BARBADOS: Judicial CP

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Report of the National Commission on Law and Order, June 2004 [PDF]
See pages 131 ff., where we learn that adult floggings with the "cat" were ordered up to 1992 but then outlawed by the Court of Appeal. However, GITEACPOC claims that JCP is still in force for juvenile offenders.



flag BARBADOS: School CP

Corporal punishment, described as "lashing" or "flogging" or "licks", is in use in schools. There is anecdotal evidence that in practice it is usually given only to boys, but CP of girls is legal. A recent Code of Discipline states that CP is permitted at all levels - see this Jan 2005 news item. This followed the Minister of Education's acceptance in 2004 of a recommendation by the National Commission on Law and Order that CP be retained (see below).

    In July 2005, following a case of injury to a child's buttocks as a result of a "flogging" by a primary school teacher, the Barbados Union of Teachers reminded its members that CP may be administered only by a school principal or senior teacher.

    The same organisation's publication Teachers' Handbook: The Scope Of The School's Authority (not currently on line) summarises the corporal punishment provisions of the Education Regulations 1982. It recommends that a cane only be used and says that it is advisable, but apparently not mandatory, to have a witness present.

    In July 2008 a suggestion that CP in schools might be abolished was strenuously opposed by several head teachers, one of whom wrote a newspaper column explaining why and pointing out that recommendations by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child are not binding on any sovereign country.

    In Jan 2009 the government confirmed that school corporal punishment would not be abolished.

    Controversy continued in Oct 2009 when a local newspaper published pictures of boys being caned for arriving late to school.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Report of the National Commission on Law and Order, June 2004 [PDF]
See pages 128 ff. of this large document, which rejects external pressure by UN bodies and so on to abolish CP in schools on the grounds that the local community is strongly in favour of it.

Guidelines for the Administration of Corporal Punishment [PDF]
Undated document produced by the Ministry of Education. It says that CP is a "last resort" and shall be administered with "a proper instrument" (no details provided) by the principal or his designee. Where possible, female students should be punished by a female member of staff. The student must be informed beforehand of the reason for punishment, and it must be recorded in a punishment book. Parents may exempt their offspring from CP by filing a statement by a medical doctor that it is detrimental to the child's mental or emotional stability.


blob Other external links for Barbados/Schools



flag BELIZE: Judicial CP

Belize is a very small former British Colony in Central America, from which little news is heard.

    One might expect that a country with official prison flogging on its statute book (see below) would also have judicial CP, but apparently not.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC says that JCP has been unlawful in Belize since at least 1993.


flag BELIZE: Prison CP

DOCUMENTS:

Two prisoners tamarind whipped
March 2000 news item describes the carrying-out of sentences of 12 and 6 lashes with a "tamarind whip" respectively on two named prisoners, for attacking fellow-inmates a few weeks earlier. They were reported to be "strapped to a whipping horse" to receive the punishment. These were claimed to be the first floggings since 1975. The article doesn't explain why this type of punishment was suddenly brought back into use after lying dormant for 25 years.

    Since the tamarind is actually a tree, I think that "whip" is a misnomer, and that the implement is really akin to a "birch rod", i.e. a bundle of a few slender branches: cf. Jamaica, where the "tamarind switch" seems to have been more or less identical to the post-1960 Isle of Man birch.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Government commitments and human rights in Belize
Amnesty International report (July 2000) mentions the above case and adds the detail that the tamarind punishments were applied to the prisoners' buttocks.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2000
A bit more on the above case. It seems the floggings led to a riot the following day, in which one prisoner was killed. Despite this, another flogging took place in the prison five months later (see this Aug 2000 news item). (USSD reports for more recent years make no mention of any further cases.)

Fear of Flogging: Estevan Sho [PDF]
Yet a fourth prisoner, 23-year-old Estevan Sho, was sentenced to be flogged later in 2000, according to this Amnesty document.

GITEACPOC states that the Prison Rules still (June 2007) permit CP in penal institutions.


flag BELIZE: School CP

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC says that CP in school is lawful under the Education Act 1991, as amended in 2000. It is supposed to be a last resort, for "serious and repeated offences". New rules drafted in 1999 did not include corporal punishment, but the teachers' union protested, and provision for CP was reinstated in revised rules in 2000. It is also claimed, rather bizarrely, that "police are reportedly regularly called in to some schools to beat children", but it is not clear whether this means administering proper CP or just beating them up.


blob Other external links for Belize/Schools



flag BERMUDA: Judicial CP [HISTORY]

Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory.

    Whipping with cat or cane by order of the courts was a regular occurrence in the 1940s. By the 1960s it had become rare (source: annual police and prisons reports in the British Library). In 1985 a 14-year-old boy was sentenced to six strokes of the birch (Daily Telegraph, London, 20 July 1985), reportedly the first such sentence in over a decade. The case went to appeal and the outcome is not currently to hand.

    Judicial corporal punishment was outlawed by the Abolition of Capital and Corporal Punishment Act 1999. This appears to have been part of a deal with the UK in exchange for full British citizenship rights. See this Dec 1999 news item, which also claimed that the "cat" had not been used since 1961.



flag BERMUDA: Prison CP [HISTORY]

Benson (1937) reports two cases in 1935. Corporal punishment in penal institutions was outlawed by the Abolition of Capital and Corporal Punishment Act 1999.

DOCUMENTS:

Prison Rules 1951
Detailed rules for the infliction of the cat, on the bare back, and the cane and the birch, on the bare buttocks.



flag BERMUDA: School CP

Spare the rod, urges children's advocate
News item quotes 1996 code of practice for using the cane or strap in government schools: a maximum of four strokes on the hand.

    This 2002 news item said that the only school using CP at that time was Warwick Academy, but this must mean the only private school.

    Three boys aged 10 and 11 were publicly strapped at Northlands Primary School in 1998. That this was apparently thought newsworthy would suggest that it was unusual.

    A May 2006 interview with the leader of the teachers' union spelled out that CP could now be administered only by school principals; the union wanted this power restored to ordinary teachers.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Education Rules 2006 [PDF]
These make clear (para 24, p.11) that school CP is permitted in Bermuda; it must be administered by the principal or deputy principal. A male may not corporally punish a female student, but in exceptional circumstances a female staff member may cane or strap a boy, if authorised by the Chief Education Officer. There is no information about the modus operandi.

blob Other external links for Bermuda/Schools



flag BHUTAN: Judicial and prison CP

Little is known about this small kingdom in the Himalayas. As far as can be ascertained, there is no provision for corporal punishment in the legal system.

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Amnesty International Report 1998 [HISTORY]  (Alternative link)
This says that four people were held at a police station and flogged daily in September 1997. Amnesty reports for subsequent years make no reference to flogging, but they do mention political dissidents being held and "beaten", so we can probably infer that this was illicit torture and not CP.


flag BHUTAN: School CP

This Apr 2012 news item says that corporal punishment is banned in schools, and was replaced by counselling and detention, measures which school principals say are not working. As a result of the ban, schools in urban Bhutan are facing growing indiscipline problems, the article claims.

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC states that school CP in Bhutan is in fact lawful, but was banned by administrative notice in 1997.



flag BOLIVIA: Judicial CP

Native "community justice" in the form of judicial whipping, on the orders of village elders, is making a comeback, according to these Nov 2006 news items.

    In Jan 2009 it was reported that a new constitution had been ratified. This would "allow Indians to mete out corporal punishment under their own legal systems".

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 1995  (Alternative link)
Indigenous communities in areas "with little or no government presence" impose whippings, contrary to the Constitution. (The same information is repeated in the 1996 USSD report, but not mentioned from 1997 onwards.)

GITEACPOC says that JCP "may be ordered by community elders in traditional Indian justice systems, still used in much of the country".



flag BOLIVIA: School CP

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 1995  (Alternative link)
"Corporal punishment" in schools is common, according to this, but it not clear whether this means proper formal CP. More likely it just refers to casual brutality. The same information is repeated in every year's USSD report up to 2006, but no further details are provided.

GITEACPOC confirms that school CP is not banned by law but says it is reportedly prohibited by regulation.



flag BOTSWANA: Judicial CP

Judicial caning is routine, especially at the customary (tribal) court in each village, known as the "Kgotla", a sort of open-air town meeting. Official courts may order males aged 14-40 to be caned on the bare buttocks for almost any crime, generally as an alternative to imprisonment. Earlier reports that tribal courts may also cane women appear to be incorrect, and when a woman actually was flogged it was said to be illegal. Reports suggest that the punishment is often inflicted on the spot immediately the court rises.

    In a July 2005 caning case, the punishment was photographed being administered in public, whereupon the authorities ordered that the procedure must henceforth be private. However, this July 2006 news item appears to imply that journalists may watch if they so wish.

    This May 2006 news item reports from one village court where there are at least 50 cases of theft per week, always punished by "three to five lashes on the bare buttocks". See also this Aug 2007 account of the procedure at a customary court.

    In Nov 2006 complaints were reported that at one customary court the canings were being administered by a prisoner rather than an official.

    Tribal chiefs have from time to time, most recently in January 2009, complained that caning on the buttocks is too lenient, and called for the restoration of what allegedly was the traditional method of whipping on the upper back. When you consider how extremely non-lenient is (for example) caning on the buttocks in Singapore, this claim seems entirely mysterious.

    In January 2010 the Attorney-General clarified that the punishment must be delivered to the buttocks only, with a cane of a type laid down in the regulations. Females, and males over 40, may not be caned. Protection should be placed over the kidneys, and a medical officer is supposed to certify the recipient fit for punishment. A medical officer or magistrate is to be present during the infliction, which is to take place privately in a prison or in a recognised customary court, except for offenders under 18, who may be caned in some other place in the present of a parent.

    Administering canings at local courts used to be the job of the Local Police, a force recently disbanded. Instead, it was reported in Feb 2010 that 322 assistant court bailiffs were being recruited to carry out this task, among others.

    A May 2012 news item reports that caning sentences are being handed down as a substitute for imprisonment, because the jails are full.

    A March 2013 news report of a caning case (five strokes) at a local court included a picture of the 26-year-old recipient's wealed buttocks.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC gives a bit more detail about the relevant legislation.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1993  (Alternative link) [HISTORY]
Caning was allowed for certain offences for men below age 40. The rules prescribed strokes only across the buttocks. Corporal punishment for children under 14 was outlawed by the High Court, but village headmen "may beat children under rules of traditional punishment". Caning was mandatory for rape.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1996
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1998
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2003
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2004
District customary courts continued to sentence village youths to strokes (instrument not specified) on the buttocks for vandalism and the like. (The 1996 report quotes the example of nine young men being sentenced by a district customary court to six strokes each for common nuisance.)
    The House of Chiefs, an advisory body, thought the strokes should be across the back, but saw its motion to that effect turned down by the Government, which takes the view that the proper place for punishing naughty boys is their bottoms.
    On a more serious note the 1998 report adds that the minimum sentence for rape now includes corporal punishment if the offender is HIV positive. (The 2000, 2001 and 2002 reports merely repeat the same information as the earlier reports.)
    The 2003 and 2004 reports add that illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe, too, were judicially caned (see also this Jan 2004 news item and its follows-up).
    The USSD reports for 2005 to 2009 inclusive add nothing new.


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flag BOTSWANA: School CP

The government has no intention of abolishing caning in schools, according to this Aug 2006 news report.

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Caning students should be light
Feb 2001 news item (scroll down to third item on page) includes government guidelines under the Education Act 1967. A light cane not more than 1 metre long should be used on palms or buttocks, max. five strokes at secondary and three strokes at primary level. In primary schools it is also permissible to cane the back of the student's legs. Male teachers (other than head teachers) may not cane girls.


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flag BRAZIL

School corporal punishment is not forbidden in Brazil, but there appears to be no tradition of formal CP. CP is lawful as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions. There is no official JCP.

Flogging is said to have been rife in the Brazilian Navy in the 19th century.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Revolt of the Lash
There was a mutiny against naval flogging in 1910, shortly after a sailor was given 250 lashes, according to this Wikipedia article. As a result, the practice was dropped.



flag BRUNEI: Judicial CP

Brunei Darussalam, to give it its full name, is a small Malay sultanate on the island of Borneo. It is not part of Malaysia, but is entirely surrounded by two states of Malaysia. The courts regularly order male offenders to be caned for any of a long list of offences broadly similar to that applying in Malaysia. In the case of adults this is usually, or possibly always, in addition to imprisonment. This is not necessarily true in the case of boys, who may be ordered to report to the prison just for their caning and then dismissed.

    In general the procedure is similar to that of Singapore, i.e. the offender is secured to a frame in a bending-over position and caned across his unclothed seat. However, unlike in Singapore, the official terminology remains British, and in the legislation the penalty is thus referred to as "whipping".

blob MAIN ARTICLE: See feature article Judicial caning in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei (illustrated) for details of history and modus operandi and an overview of the legislative situation.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC quotes legislation restricting the number of strokes to 18 for a "youthful offender" instead of the 24-stroke maximum for adult men.
    In practice, reports of juvenile JCP are rare. This might only be because newspapers fail to report such cases, but I slightly doubt it: in this tiny country, even a minor traffic jam gets headlines in the local press.
    But see this Jan 2013 news report about a 17-year-old sentenced to "two light strokes of the cane", in this case combined with a term of imprisonment.

The Child Rights Information Network [DOC] informs us that the JCP of boys is to be carried out with a light rattan applied to the bare buttocks, rather oddly referred to in the legislation as a "punishment in the way of school discipline".

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 1999
US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2000
US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2001
Judicial caning became mandatory in 1988 for 42 offences. According to this, 80% of criminal convictions result in caning (though that is not my own impression from a regular reading of the Brunei daily press). Each year's report quotes different cases in which canings were ordered for assaults on women and children. The document says many convicts are reported to prefer caning to lengthy incarceration, but cites no source for this claim. (The 2002 and 2003 reports add nothing new.)

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2004
Mentions that caning was extended to cover immigration offences (see also these Feb 2004 news items). (The 2005 and 2006 reports add nothing new.)

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2007
This states that there were 68 caning sentences for immigration violations during the year under review. (The 2008 report adds nothing new.)

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2009
184 offenders received a caning between January and October 2009, mostly for drug or immigration offences, according to this.

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2010
Only 53 persons were caned between January and October 2010. There is no explanation for the sharp drop in numbers from the previous year.



flag CANADA: Judicial and Prison CP [HISTORY]

Corporal punishment for violations of internal prison discipline in Canada was delivered to the prisoner's bare posterior with a large leather strap. JCP as a court sentence could be either with the same strap, if the court so specified, or otherwise with a cat-o'-nine-tails across the shoulders, in either case combined with a jail term and inflicted in prison.

    This 1931 court case in Manitoba is an example in which two bank robbers were jailed and given 10 lashes with the cat.

    In this Nov 1952 illustrated news item, which was clearly regarded as somewhat sensational for British Columbia, it is reported that a gang of young men in their teens and twenties (pictured) were sentenced to jail terms and strappings for peddling illegal drugs.

    In a case from January 1956, three youths aged 17, 18 and 21 were each sentenced in Alberta to 12 strokes of the "paddle" (an alternative name for the leather strap) plus six years each in jail, for assaulting a girl. The judge ordered that the strappings were to be administered in two instalments, at the beginning and the end of the prison term.

    Prison discipline strappings were only likely to become public knowledge in the case of major riots, resulting in corporal punishment for the ringleaders, as in July 1952 and October 1952.

    It is surprising to discover that, at least in Ontario, women prisoners could still be strapped as recently as 1948, as noted in this July 1948 news item. This had evidently been outlawed by the time of the 1953-1955 parliamentary committee, whose report makes no mention of it.

    Benson and Glover (1931) state that in 1929 there were 78 floggings by order of the courts, and 72 strappings for breaches of prison discipline. Benson (1937) updates these figures for 1935 to 40 and 50 respectively.

    All the above (and everything in the article linked below) applied only to youths over 16 and adult men, but Cadogan (1938) also notes that courts could order boys under 16 to be "spanked" (no details provided), and that there were 55 such spankings per year on average between 1932 and 1936.

    This 1933 news item reported on what was presumably such a case, in which a 15-year-old was sentenced to receive 10 strokes of the strap, without any imprisonment, for extortion.

    Judicial and prison CP was abolished by legislation in 1972.

blob MAIN ARTICLE: The Canadian Prison Strap
Three-part feature article (illustrated) on pre-1972 use of the leather strap or "paddle" in prisons, both for internal discipline offences and as court-ordered punishment:


DOCUMENTS:

Evidence of Ontario Director of Public Prosecutions [HISTORY]
Evidence of Warden of Kingston Penitentiary [HISTORY]
Evidence of Ontario Deputy Minister for Reform Institutions [HISTORY]
Witness statements to the parliamentary committee on corporal punishment, 1953-55.


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flag CANADA: Reformatory CP

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Beadle, Beadle and Beadle v The Queen and Others
British Columbia case about paddlings and spankings (but also much else) in foster homes in the 1960s.



flag CANADA: School CP [HISTORY]

Corporal punishment in all schools was outlawed by a Supreme Court decision in 2004. Most provinces had already abolished it, and the only schools reported as still using it at all frequently in recent years were in Alberta and, to a lesser extent, Manitoba, where (at least in Winnipeg) teachers' authority to use the strap was actually extended in 1958.

    In the more urban east, CP was already seen as something from the distant past. In public schools in Quebec it was abandoned as long ago as the 1960s, according to this report. The Board of Education in Toronto banned it in 1971.

    In state schools the traditional mode of CP had been the strap across the hands, after the manner of historic Scottish practice except that, at any rate in modern times, the strap used was generally of a rubber/canvas mixture rather than of leather. See these pictures.

    It was reported in 2005 that exhibits in a school museum in Alberta suggest that the strap replaced the willow switch as the CP implement of choice in the early 1900s.

    That seems to be borne out by this 1919 newspaper advertisement for a "regulation strap, especially prepared to meet school requirements".

    Reports suggest that many private schools were more inclined to use English-style caning or American-style paddling over the posterior. For instance, the three St John's boarding schools, featured in this illustrated article (with video clips), used a US-type paddle, although they called it a "swat stick". A paddle was also in use at De La Salle College in Toronto. Shawnigan Lake School in British Columbia, and Upper Canada College in Toronto, both used the cane, applied to the students' buttocks. At Feller College near Montreal, all three implements -- strap, cane and paddle -- were apparently in use.


DOCUMENTS:

Photographs of school straps [HISTORY]
The typical rubber/canvas strap illustrated, with an extract from a 1971 catalogue in which these were sold to schools.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Bibliography of Reported Corporal Punishment Cases in Canada [HISTORY]
From the University of New Brunswick. There has been a surprisingly large number of legal cases over school corporal punishment. Some are fairly recent, others date back to the 19th century. To look these references up, you would need to have access to many different series of Canadian law reports.

Rules and Regulations for the Management and Government of Common Schools [HISTORY]
Rules for British Columbia in 1870. These recommended using corporal punishment (no practical details laid down) only where it was "imperatively necessary".


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flag CHILE: Judicial CP [HISTORY]

Benson (1937) states that judicial CP in Chile had been abolished in 1928.



flag CHINA: Judicial CP

Historically, the idea of corporal punishment seems to have been quite deeply ingrained in Confucian culture, and school, domestic and judicial CP was widely practised for many centuries. This 2003 article, complete with an engraving of miscreants being flogged on the bare buttocks in front of the Emperor, dates the practice at least back to the 11th century BC, and claims that JCP was formally abolished in 1909. This photograph shows a judicial flogging taking place around 1900.

    Present-day China's official propaganda line has always been that all forms of corporal punishment were swept away by the 1949 communist revolution. In reality, it is clear that Beijing's writ has not always run consistently throughout this vast territory. In March 1991 it was claimed that parents refusing to follow the regime's one-child policy were caned on their bare buttocks.

    In January 2013 a member of the National People's Congress suggested that rising crime be tackled by reintroducing judicial caning, citing Singapore as an example to follow.


blob External links for China/Judicial


flag CHINA: School CP

Corporal punishment in schools was supposedly banned in 1949 along with all other kinds of CP. In practice, there is plenty of evidence that it continues to be used in some schools and is accepted by students.

    A May 2000 report suggested that beatings in schools were widespread, and these video clips of students being caned in class show that at least some of this CP is remarkably "formal" in style, even though technically illegal. Some of these spankings are given with trousers down. Other anecdotal evidence suggests that the application of a ruler to students' hands is a not uncommon minor punishment in some schools.

    See also this Jan 2005 news report (illustrated) about an 8-year-old schoolgirl caned on the bare bottom in front of her class for not finishing her homework. The school principal confirmed that CP was forbidden, and the teacher apologised. The article mentions that CP is illegal in "government schools". It is not clear whether we should infer from this that it might be legal in private schools, if indeed there are any.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC cites various surveys suggesting that beatings by teachers are widespread in Chinese schools. How much of this is proper formal (albeit illicit) CP, as opposed to casual brutality, remains unclear.

The government-controlled People's Daily reported in July 2005 that CP was particularly prevalent in rural schools, and that the Ministry of Education had issued strict instructions prohibiting it.


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flag COLOMBIA: Judicial CP

Colombia has no official JCP at national level, but local indigenous communities are permitted to operate their own systems of law and order, and in some areas this includes whipping, as seen in this video clip. See also this June 2000 news item, and this Aug 2012 news item (with a further video clip).


flag CYPRUS: Judicial CP [HISTORY]

During the political troubles of the middle 1950s (when Greek Cypriots were rioting against the British colonial powers and agitating for union with Greece), emergency laws were introduced to enable the courts to order male teenagers to be caned for taking part in unlawful assemblies. This scheme started in December 1955.

    From this January 1956 news report it becomes clear that the youths were caned over the seat of their trousers while they bent over a chair. This is unusual in British colonial judicial CP, which has normally involved the baring of buttocks.

    This June 1956 follow-up report emphasises that it was a fairly mild schoolboy-style punishment, and not the vicious flogging with a cat that Greek propagandists were claiming.

    No references to further caning sentences have been found after the end of 1956, and it may be that the experiment was abandoned as counter-productive in public-relations terms.

    However, there had also been JCP in Cyprus for ordinary offences. Benson (1937) records that 8 adults were sentenced to "flogging" (no details provided) in 1935.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Consideration of reports submitted by states parties
Cyprus became independent in 1960. This UN document from as recently as 1993 notes (at paragraph 105) that the Criminal Code had included provisions for "whipping and caning", which were repealed as unconstitutional; it does not say when this happened.



flag CYPRUS: School CP [HISTORY]

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC states that CP has been unlawful in Cyprus schools since 1967, but cites no source for this information.



flag CZECH REPUBLIC: Judicial CP [HISTORY]

Benson (1937) states that judicial CP in Bohemia and Moravia-Silesia had been abolished in 1867, when they were under Austrian rule.



flag CZECH REPUBLIC: School CP

Anecdotal evidence (such as scenes in fictional but apparently reality-based movies) suggests that there is or was a tradition of school caning throughout what used to be Czechoslovakia, and that this may have survived the communist era. More research is needed here.

    The Czech Republic was until very recently the only other country in Europe apart from France (q.v.) where school CP was not explicitly prohibited, but it has now been outlawed, according to GITEACPOC.EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window

    This June 2007 news item (which stated, wrongly as it seems at that time, that CP was banned in schools) reports on a poll showing that 25% of the public wanted schools to be able to spank students.



flag DENMARK: Judicial and Prison CP [HISTORY]

Cadogan (1938) reports that judicial CP was abolished in Denmark in 1911. Before then, boys aged 10-18 and girls aged 10-12 could be awarded corporal punishment (no details given) by the courts. Adults aged 18 to 55 could be flogged for rape and indecent assault.

    CP for internal prison discipline offences was abolished with effect from 1933.



flag DENMARK: School CP [HISTORY]

Caning in Danish schools was abolished in 1967. For more details and a video clip, see this separate page.



flag DOMINICA: Judicial CP

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Committee on Rights of Child Reviews Initial Report of Dominica (May 2004)
This tiny Caribbean country still has penal legislation providing for the flogging of children aged 12 and above, according to this.

GITEACPOC confirms that boys under 16 may be sentenced by the courts to undergo a whipping of up to 12 strokes.

Sentencing of children in Dominica [DOC]
This Child Rights Information Network document gives more details. Boys under 14 may be privately whipped by the High Court for any offence with up to 12 strokes of a tamarind rod, straight after the court hearing, in the presence of a police officer and, if desired, a parent or guardian. Boys under 16 but over 14 may be ordered to be caned by lower courts but the High Court must confirm the sentence. Adult males may be given up to 24 strokes on the buttocks with a tamarind rod or, if over 18, flogged, for various sexual offences. There is no indication as to how frequently any of these punishments are actually imposed, if at all.



flag ECUADOR: Judicial CP

There is no CP in the Criminal Code in Ecuador but, as in some other Latin American countries, the constitution allows indigenous communities to follow traditional forms of justice, including corporal punishment (whipping) along with public humiliations such as being drenched in cold water, paraded about in underwear, and beaten with nettles. When whipping takes place it often seems to be for robbers and thieves, and is usually, but not always, applied to the offender's buttocks. See these video clips.



flag EGYPT: Judicial CP [HISTORY]

Only young delinquents aged from 7 to 15 could be ordered CP by the courts; this consisted of up to 24 strokes with a cane. A physician had to be present. This punishment could be applied for any offence. There were 4,045 such canings in 1928-29 (Benson & Glover, 1931) and 7,422 in 1934-35 (Benson, 1937). It is not clear when this provision was abolished.

    Also unclear, if the above information is correct, is the basis on which this 1950s flogging of an adult man was imposed. Perhaps it was an illicit punishment (though the equipment used looks "official"), or maybe the law had been changed by then to countenance JCP for adults.


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flag EGYPT: Prison CP [HISTORY]

Benson and Glover (1931) recorded 529 floggings for prison discipline reasons (revolt, violence, insubordination) in 1929. Remarkably, this figure had risen to 2,702 in 1935, according to Benson (1937). This punishment was applied with a cat-o'-nine-tails for prisoners over 18, and with a cane for juveniles. The maximum number of strokes in convict prisons was 36, and in local prisons 24 (or 12 for juveniles under 18).

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

US State Department Reports on Human Rights Practices: Egypt - 2001 [HISTORY]
Mentions that flogging as a disciplinary measure in Egyptian prisons, under a law of 1956, was abolished in 2001. See also this December 2001 news item.

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights welcomes the abolishing of the whipping penalty
Further to the previous item, this news release from December 2001 describes the implement formerly used, which sounds rather like a cat-o-seven-tails. Prisoners under 17 could be caned instead. It also mentions that a decision to whip 40 prisoners was made as recently as 1996.



flag ESTONIA: Reformatory CP [HISTORY]

Benson (1937) reports that boys and girls could be punished with "a light rod" for misbehaviour in reformatories, with a maximum of six strokes under age 14, and 12 strokes if over that age. There were 23 such canings in the year 1935-36.

    This provision presumably ceased to apply when Estonia was annexed by the Soviet Union from World War II onwards.



flag ETHIOPIA: Judicial CP


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Crime and Punishment: The Legal System [HISTORY]
Report on the situation in Ethiopia which states that the penal code introduced by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1930 gave the courts power to order flogging (no details given). There was another new penal code in the 1960s but it is not clear from the document whether this retained the corporal punishment provisions. There is no mention of corporal punishment playing any role after the 1974 revolution.

GITEACPOC states that provisions for the judicial caning of child offenders (undefined) of up to 12 strokes were only recently repealed.



flag FIJI: Judicial CP

Judicial caning (max. 12 strokes) remains on the statute book in Fiji for males of 17 or over, despite a 2002 High Court ruling that corporal punishment is unconstitutional. In practice, what seems to happen is that magistrates order the punishment, as in this Jan 2008 case, and the High Court then throws it out on appeal.

    It was reported in May 2010 that flogging was being considered as a sentencing option in cases where offenders opt to be dealt with by village elders. It is not stated how this would fit with the High Court ruling mentioned above.

    In Aug 2010 a village law was introduced in Visoqo to the effect that youths who grow marijuana would henceforth be spanked three times. A similar announcement was made in the Bua district in Dec 2010, where the local chief said that spanking worked well as a deterrent for the younger generation. In both cases there is no indication of what exactly is meant here by "spanking".


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC says that JCP in Fiji for offenders under 17 was abolished under the Juveniles Act 1974.

Waisake Ceacea v. R. [HISTORY]
Report of a 1977 Supreme Court hearing in which a sentence of 10 strokes and 8 years for rape was upheld.

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 1999
This report stated that judicial corporal punishment was rarely used. (The 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 reports repeat the same information.)

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2004
JCP was still on the statute book, but no cases had been reported.

US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2005
Notes that JCP had been ruled unconstitutional and reports on a May 2005 caning sentence by a magistrate's court, but states that the punishment had not been carried out. (The 2006 report adds no further information. The reports for 2007 to 2011 inclusive do not mention JCP.)



flag FIJI: School CP

Corporal punishment continues to be applied in schools in Fiji, despite the High Court ruling of 2002 (see judicial CP, above), which was reported at the time as covering school CP also -- see for instance this April 2002 news item.

    Various bodies, including the Fijian Teachers Association and the Great Council of Chiefs, as well as the Methodist Church, strongly oppose abolition.

    One January 2005 report revealed a state of confusion in the Education Ministry, with the acting chief executive wanting to "reintroduce" it while the Education Minister said she would not condone it.

    At all events, the legislation has not yet been changed to impose any explicit ban on school CP, which has traditionally been administered with a leather strap.

    The use of CP has perhaps declined sufficiently for many people to think it has actually been abolished: in Oct 2012 high-school students themselves called for its reintroduction.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1999
This US State Department document states (in Section 5) that corporal punishment was administered in some Fijian schools, and refers to reports of beatings in religious schools. It is strange to find a US Government report taking it as read that school CP is a Bad Thing. Perhaps to be even-handed they should produce a report on "Human Rights Practices" in the USA? (The reports for 2000 and 2001 merely repeat the same information.)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2002
The report notes that the High Court had ruled school CP unconstitutional, but the Education Minister had said that it was an effective form of discipline. (The 2003 report adds nothing new. The reports for 2004 and 2005 do not mention school CP.)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2006
According to this, the Education Ministry has issued a policy forbidding the use of corporal punishment in schools in Fiji. Despite this, CP "was common both in homes and in schools". (The reports for 2007 to 2011 inclusive merely repeat the same information.)


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flag FINLAND: Judicial CP [HISTORY]

Adult JCP was abolished in 1889, according to Cadogan (1938).

    Benson & Glover (1931) state that courts could order boys and girls aged 7 to 16 to be birched. This was to be carried out by the parent or guardian at home, with an official witness, but if the parent or guardian refused to do it, a court official would carry out the punishment.

    There were 178 of these juvenile birchings in 1927 (167 boys and 11 girls). Cadogan adds that 911 such cases were recorded in the period 1930 to 1934. It is not known when these provisions were rescinded.



flag FINLAND: Prison CP [HISTORY]

Benson & Glover (1931) note, Cadogan (1938) concurring, that adult prisoners could be given up to 25 strokes with a rattan cane for serious offences against discipline. The prisoner to be caned was medically examined beforehand, and a doctor was usually present at the infliction, during which "the body is protected with a sheet".

    There were 9 such prison canings in 1928, and an average of 22 per year over the period 1930 to 1934. This legislation was later repealed (date of abolition not currently to hand).



flag FRANCE: Judicial CP

Presumably there must have been judicial flogging in France at some time in the distant past, but no information is to hand.

    However, this Sep 1910 news report reveals that whipping or flogging was being suggested by mainstream newspapers at that time as a response to a wave of gun and knife violence by criminals called "Apaches". Evidently nothing came of this.


flag FRANCE: School CP

When STOPP began its campaign in the UK in the 1970s to abolish school CP, it made a lot of the fact that such things had (so it claimed) long gone from continental Europe. In particular, Peter Newell's 1972 Penguin book "A Last Resort?" said that corporal punishment had been prohibited in France in the 1870s. All STOPP propaganda repeated this ad nauseam and it became widely quoted in the press: if Britain's nearest neighbour had managed to outlaw it 100 years ago, how could it be allowed to continue here? And so on.

    It now turns out that this was all a pack of lies, and GITEACPOC (prop. P. Newell) coolly informs us on its France pageEXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window, updated April 2010, that "There is no explicit prohibition in law of corporal punishment in schools and 'light correction' is tolerated in the same way as it is for parents. A High Court ruling in 1889 allowed a 'right to correction' for teachers".

    Meanwhile, anecdotal evidence in the form of fictional but apparently reality-inspired films suggests that not only angry clouting of a student's head (Les Quatre Cents Coups) but even formal, bending-over caning ceremonies (Anthracite and Les Choristes) were not unknown in the 20th century, at any rate at boarding schools.

    It would appear that France, so far from having been one of the first countries to abolish school CP, as we were always told, is now one of only two countries in Europe NOT to have outlawed it, the other being the Czech Republic.

    However, in August 2008 a teacher was fined for slapping a student who had insulted him. The teacher had lost his temper, and quickly apologised, but the court found him guilty of "aggravated violence", a verdict widely regarded as absurd by the local population, according to this report in TIME magazine.


blob Other external links for France/Schools



flag GERMANY: Judicial and prison CP [HISTORY]

Corporal punishment as a judicial penalty ordered by the courts in Germany seems to have died out in the early 20th century, but the details of this change are not to hand. Benson and Glover (1931) claim there was no JCP at that time, and also say that there was no prison CP either; Benson (1937) repeats this latter claim, which appears by then to be incorrect.

    Contrary to some reports, the 1933-1945 Nazi regime never officially had JCP on the statute book (though of course there was plenty of unofficial brutality of a more general kind). It did however have a policy of formal caning on the bare buttocks (max. 25 strokes, for males and possibly also for females) for internal disciplinary reasons in prisons and youth institutions. This soon came to include, but was certainly not peculiar to, the notorious concentration camps and death camps.

    The legislation enabling prison caning was probably something the Nazis inherited -- along with the special equipment used -- rather than introduced themselves, though it might have been a revival of something that had in practice fallen into disuse before 1933. In earlier times a birch or whip had been used. It is not clear when the change to the cane was made, but there is a reference to a "hazel stick" in Saxony in 1855.

    There is also some evidence that, as the rule of law collapsed during WW2, the Nazi hierarchy sometimes "got round" the absence of JCP by sending dissident teenagers to a reformatory with the express instruction that they be caned on arrival, presumably on trumped-up disciplinary charges (letter from Himmler to Heydrich, January 1942).

    It is not known whether these provisions fell into immediate disuse at the end of WW2, or when they were formally abolished.

DOCUMENTS:

Flogging in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Germany [HISTORY]
Descriptions of judicial birchings and prison whippings of men and women. According to this, CP for women was abolished in 1870 in Saxony.


flag GERMANY: School CP [HISTORY]

There was a tradition of school corporal punishment in Germany until relatively modern times. The usual instrument was a cane, but the use of straps has also been reported anecdotally.

    Contrary to myth, the Nazi regime (1933-45) did not reintroduce CP, because it had not been abolished. According to this July 1987 magazine article, what the Nazis did do was to "lift all restrictions" on it.

    After WW2, different Länder (regional states) dealt with the issue in different ways at different times: as time went on, caning was increasingly confined to older students, boys in particular. CP was not completely banned everywhere until 1983. This conflicts slightly with an unsourced claim by GITEACPOCEXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window that it has been prohibited since the 1970s.

    This 1968 magazine article includes a photograph of a classroom with a boy bending over and being disciplined by the schoolmaster with what looks more like a paddle than a cane. It is not known whether the picture is posed or real. The text says that caning was legal at that time in elementary schools, and describes a case in Baden-Württemberg of a teacher being threatened by the State with dismissal for using CP but being supported by parents.

    A July 1970 illustrated newspaper article noted that school caning had then only "recently" been abolished in Bavaria, and showed that state's "last school cane" being installed in a museum.

    In the East, the DDR (1945-1989), like all communist states, always claimed that there was no CP of any kind. It is not known whether this is actually true.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

caterpillarEric Carle: The very busy illustrator
The creator of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" says he was caned on both hands at junior school in Nazi Germany.



flag GHANA: School CP

A 2001 newspaper editorial stated that caning had been gradually phased out. This turns out to be untrue. Several more recent news items have reported parents and opinion leaders calling for the "reintroduction" of corporal punishment, but no evidence is to hand that it was ever legally banned, and there are several reports of its use.

    This November 2005 news item makes it clear that corporal punishment is in fact widespread and legal. In theory it is regulated by the Ghana Education Service, which lays down a maximum of six strokes and seeks to discourage the use of CP in the classroom by ordinary teachers. Rather, the caning should be given by the headmaster or under his supervision.

    "Traditional rulers" (tribal chiefs) called in Oct 2007 for the "reintroduction" of school CP, by which they appear to have meant that classroom teachers should have the power to cane and not just headteachers.

    A 2011 opinion poll found that 94% of parents, 92% of students and 64% of teachers favoured the use of corporal punishment.

    See also this photograph of a schoolgirl being caned in class. There is also a video clip of a teacher randomly caning girls and boys in a schoolyard, but it is not clear whether it is intended as a punishment or just a game.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC confirms the rules mentioned above.

Selling the Bermuda Brand  (Alternative link)
One Adam Farrell (no relation) reports that he found corporal punishment "with a bamboo stick" was prevalent in Ghana when he was a volunteer teacher there fairly recently.


blob Other external links for Ghana/Schools



flag GRENADA: Judicial and prison CP

Grenada is a very small former British colony in the Caribbean. Judicial CP is lawful. No details are available beyond what is in the external links below, and no reports of actual cases have come to light.

This 1902 news item sets out the then new rules for flogging by cat or birch for misconduct in prison.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

According to GITEACPOC, flogging and whipping for adults is still in force in Grenada. Boys aged 7 to 15 may be whipped but not flogged. Girls may not receive JCP.

US State Department Human Rights Report for 1995  (Alternative link)
This notes that floggings (no details provided), though rare, were ordered for sex crimes and theft cases. (The USSD reports for 1996 to 2004 inclusive repeat the same information.)

US State Department Human Rights Report for 2005
Flogging "was rare but was used as punishment for sex crimes", which accounted for 50% of all court cases, according to this. (The USSD reports for 2006 to 2009 add nothing new.)

US State Department Human Rights Report for 2010
Flogging, described as "rare" for many years previously, suddenly becomes "not uncommon" for sex crimes and assault in the 2010 report, but no specific cases are mentioned and no statistics quoted.


flag GUATEMALA: Judicial CP

Like other Latin American countries, Guatemala has no official judicial CP at national level. However, a 1996 treaty allows local indigenous tribes to apply customary punishments to their own people for certain crimes, even if these would otherwise be contrary to the national law.

    An example of where this included CP was seen in April 2006, when four Mayan youths were ordered by local elders to be publicly spanked by their parents, as shown in this video clip.

    For another case, see this May 2006 press item (in Spanish with rough English translation), which includes a photo of a young man showing the scars on his back after receiving 75 strokes with peach tree branches on the orders of local leaders following a public debate among the Kaqchitel people of his village. He was punished for carrying firearms and attempted kidnapping.



flag GUYANA: Judicial CP

Guyana used to have judicial whipping on its books both for adults and for juveniles. Here is an adult case in 1946. It is not known what instrument was used.

    Judicial whipping for juveniles under 17 (which applied only to males) was outlawed in 2010. JCP for adults remains legal. We have not come across any reports of the penalty having been used in recent times. There is no mention of it in US State Department reports from 1993 to date.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Sentencing of children in Guyana [DOC]
This Child Rights Information Network document confirms that whipping for juveniles and for all females is outlawed, but that JCP is still on the books for males aged 17 and over.



flag GUYANA: School CP

Under rules issued by the Ministry of Education in 2004, corporal punishment in schools in Guyana is meant for severe or repeated offences only, and should be administered by the head teacher, or in his or her presence by a specifically delegated assistant, who in the case of a girl student must be female. A record is to be kept.

    Certain activists have been campaigning for CP to be abolished, but there appears to be strong support in various quarters for its retention as well as some resentment at interference by UN bodies, one correspondent in the local press pointing out (correctly) that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child does not in fact prohibit school corporal punishment, or even mention it.

    In Oct 2008 the Education Minister was quoted as saying that draft legislation was being brought forward to "reintroduce" corporal punishment in schools. It is not clear what is meant by this, since CP is already lawful and has not been abolished.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Committee on Rights of Child reviews initial report of Guyana
A government spokesperson maintains in this UN report that CP is used in schools only "in extreme cases" and "under controlled circumstances in accordance with the Education Act".

Whipping at school made me a more serious student
Corporal punishment was never an effective method of discipline for me as a teacher
The absence of corporal punishment in American schools has led to chaos
We need to exercise old-fashioned common sense
Violence in American schools cannot be attributed to the lack of corporal punishment
I only ordered corporal punishment once but the threat of the ferula was good for discipline
Spare the rod
Corporal punishment may have contributed to our violent society
Voluminous and heated correspondence (Jan-Mar 2004) in the Georgetown Stabroek News.



flag HONG KONG: Judicial CP [HISTORY]

Judicial caning was abolished in 1990. Thitherto it had been used by the courts, for relatively serious offences, on juvenile and adult males, usually but not always in addition to a prison term. Caning sentences were frequent in the 1950s but gradually declined to a handful per year in the 1980s.

    Benson (1937) claims that there were 191 instances of JCP in 1930, and only 61 in 1935.

    An Associated Press report in the New York Times (24 August 1989) said that 476 canings were awarded in 1952. According to this January 1989 news item, there were only 8 cases in 1988.


DOCUMENTS:

Ordinance No 39 of 1954 as amended [HISTORY]
Former legislation governing HK caning sentences (max. 18 strokes). The instrument was "a light cane or rattan", to be administered on the breech. If the offender chose to waive his right to appeal, he was to be caned within 24 hours of the sentence. These rules apply to males over 16; younger boys could also be sentenced to a caning, evidently under some other rules not currently to hand.

Public Order Ordinance 1981 [HISTORY]
Legislation providing for the caning of offenders of 14 years and over found in possession of an offensive weapon.

Patten may appeal for clemency on sentence [HISTORY]
Officers hated caning offenders [HISTORY]
Anecdotal reminiscences in the local press of Hong Kong judicial canings. According to these reports, the rattan used was over 1 metre long. A leather strap was tied round the recipient's back to protect the spine. His hands were secured by leather straps to a "wooden platform" (the meaning of this is unclear to me) and he was made to bend over with his trousers down. This earlier report speaks of bending over a "thick leather bar" and states that bleeding sometimes occurred.

    The general impression given by these accounts is that the punishment was probably not too dissimilar to present-day judicial caning in Singapore, though perhaps not quite so severe.

    See also these pictures of the equipment used, now on display in a museum. The cane shown, if it really is the genuine article, appears to be rather more than half an inch thick, hardly the "light cane" mentioned in the legislation. This video clip shows the caning equipment in the museum being used in a dummy demonstration.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Leung Shing-wong v The Queen [HISTORY]
Case in the Court of Appeal (November 1970). The appellant aged 36 had been convicted of robbery and sentenced to 18 months in prison plus 14 strokes of the cane. The appeal court quashed the jail term but upheld the caning sentence. It did not think prison was appropriate in this case. "On the contrary, ... it would be infinitely preferable if after the sentence of corporal punishment has been carried out the appellant should be ejected from the precincts of the prison at the earliest possible opportunity so that any visible discomfort which he may be suffering at the time may be readily apparent to ... the public ... and to any of his friends who may be minded to commit [this] type of offence ...".

Hong Kong: Human Rights, Law and Autonomy -- The Risks of Transition [HISTORY]  (Alternative link)
Near the end of this long Amnesty document, in an Annex summarising previous concerns about Hong Kong, is a note about the controversy that arose in 1988 after two teenagers were caned for robbery.



flag HONG KONG: Reformatory CP

Reformatory School Rules, Cap.225 L.N.163/77 [HISTORY]
1977 regulations for the award of caning to "male detained persons" for certain offences against reformatory discipline. The medical officer was required to be present, from which we may deduce that these canings were a fairly serious business, even though administered "on the clothed buttocks" unlike the judicial ones in HK. Also interestingly different from, for example, British reformatory rules in that they give 48 hours in which to exercise a formal right of appeal to the Director, but the offender may waive this right and elect to undergo his punishment forthwith.

    According to GITEACPOC EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window, these rules were amended in 1990. The CP provisions were presumably repealed at that time. At all events, they no longer apply.



blob References:
-- Benson, George, and Glover, Edward, Corporal punishment: An indictment, Howard League for Penal Reform, London, 1931 (in particular Appendix I, "The law and practice of other countries").
-- Benson, Sir George, Flogging: The law and practice in England, Howard League for Penal Reform, London, 1937 (in particular Appendix I, "The law and practice of other countries").
-- Cadogan Report (Report of the Departmental Committee on Corporal Punishment), London, 1938 (in particular Appendix V, "The law relating to corporal punishment in certain foreign countries and in His Majesty's Dominions").
-- Kalet Smith, Anna, Juvenile Court laws in foreign countries, Children's Bureau, Social Security Administration, US Federal Security Agency, Washington DC, 1949

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