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WEB LINKS: JUDICIAL CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
- countries A-R

With personal comments by C. Farrell


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

PATIENCE REQUIRED: Quite a few of the websites linked from this page are housed on very slow archive servers like web.archive.org and can take a minute or more to load.

NOTE. External links to documents concentrating on legislative aspects, or which set out actual procedures or legislation (current or historical), are now in many cases to be found in the Country files section. So too are detailed eyewitness descriptions of punishments.

What will remain on THIS page, broadly speaking, are anecdotal or passing references, and general opinion or debate pro or con.

Unfortunately many people who put information on the Web forget to date it. However, these items can generally be taken to relate to within the past few years, except where flagged as [HISTORY].

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.

blob Countries S-Z are here.


flag AFGHANISTAN

See Country files.


flag AUSTRALIA (these external links will open in a new window)

Power and pain in old Sydney [HISTORY]
Article in the Sydney Morning Herald (Feb 2005) mentions a case in the early 19th century where a man was awarded £10 damages after having been wrongly flogged by a magistrate.

Sentencing of Federal Offenders [HISTORY]
Paper produced in 1980 by the Australian Law Reform Commission. (This is a long, poorly scanned document, best read by viewing the source code in Notepad or similar text editor with word wrap switched on.)
    At paragraphs 63 to 66 the Commission explains why it rejects any suggestion of reintroducing JCP. There is also more general philosophical stuff (paras 39 to 48) about deterrence vs. retribution. "Punishment is a cherished part of the Australian way of life. It is a concept that Australians understand and warm to."
    See also at para. 63 a ridiculous story about a birching ordered in South Australia in 1965. No birch rod could be found, and one had to be fetched from England, but it had become rotten on its journey; the law was subsequently altered to provide that JCP be inflicted with a leather strap or cane.


blob More documentation for judicial CP in Australia


flag BAHAMAS, THE

See Country files.


flag BANGLADESH

See Country files.


flag BARBADOS

See Country files.


flag BHUTAN

See Country files.


flag BOLIVIA

See Country files.


flag BOTSWANA (these external links will open in a new window)

The Flogging of Phineas Mcintosh [HISTORY]
Story about a scandal in the 1930s when a white man was flogged by a local chieftain in what was then Bechuanaland and under British rule.

mystery picture from MmegiConvict escapes the cane
Jan 2005 report in local newspaper Mmegi in which a four-stroke caning was overturned by the appeal court on the grounds that the prisoner was over 40. He was thus "spared the wrath of the cane-man". There is an uncaptioned picture, which one might assume to be of the prisoner, but the man in it seems to be holding the end of a cane -- so perhaps the picture is of the "cane-man"?



blob More documentation for judicial CP in Botswana


flag CANADA (these external links will open in a new window)

Prince Edward Island: Whipping [HISTORY]
Public whipping in Prince Edward Island was introduced in 1792 and routinely used as a sentence for petty larceny, according to this article, which, however, cites no sources. The document claims that male offenders continued to receive this punishment until the second half of the 19th century.

The Administration Of Justice At The Fortress Of Louisbourg (1713-1758) [HISTORY]
18th-century punishments in Louisbourg, now part of Nova Scotia, but which belonged to France at the time. There was a pillory and a wooden horse, but the favourite method of corporal punishment, according to this, was "les verges" or flogging, in which the culprit had to run the gauntlet between two lines of soldiers who beat him with sticks.

Virtual Museum of New France - May 24, 1679 [HISTORY]
On this date, Louis XIV signed a decree prohibiting the sale of alcohol in New France -- mostly now part of Canada -- on pain of "corporal punishment" (details not specified) for a third offence.

Jean Rattier [HISTORY]
Jean Rattier was an official executioner in 17th-century Quebec. His job also included administering floggings.

whipping post Bonavista Attractions [HISTORY]
See "The Whipping Post" halfway down the page. Information about an 18th-century whipping post in Newfoundland.


Questioning the Punishment of Young Offenders [PDF]
From the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy in Vancouver, a background paper setting out a philosophical approach to basic questions of punishment. It shows how vague and arbitrary are many of the assumptions and definitions in this generally confused and difficult debate. It suggests that the liberal "conventional wisdom" of bodies like the UN on the subject of corporal punishment -- that it is to be condemned out of hand on humanitarian grounds -- doesn't stand up to very rigorous analysis.


blob More documentation for judicial CP in Canada



flag CHINA (these external links will open in a new window)

Paul Musgrave Dot Com: May 17, 2004 [HISTORY]
Amateur review of a book (Death of Woman Wang by Jonathan D. Spence) about rural China in the 17th century. In one quote, a murderer is "sentenced to be beaten with the heavy bamboo".

A reformulated approach to the origins of Macau [HISTORY]
Quotes a report by a Portuguese emissary in 1556 describing bare-bottom whippings.


blob More documentation for judicial CP in China


flag DOMINICA

See Country files.


flag EGYPT (these external links will open in a new window)

Law and the Legal System in Ancient Egypt [HISTORY]   (Alternative link)
Court documents show that 100 strokes of the cane could be ordered in criminal proceedings.

Hazrat Ali's Famous Epistle To Malik Ashtar, Governor of Egypt [HISTORY]
The Great Khalif of Islam had some quite sensible things to say. Corporal punishment (no details given) seems to have been taken as read.


blob More documentation for judicial CP in Egypt


blob EUROPE GENERALLY (Mediaeval) (these external links will open in a new window)

Exordium: The value of unanimity [PDF] [HISTORY]
Quotes some rules about flogging for Cistercian monks.

Medieval Sourcebook: The Ecloga on Sexual Crimes (8th Century) [HISTORY]
List of offences such as adultery, fornication, etc. and the penalties, with number of lashes specified.

Robertson v. Baldwin [HISTORY]
Report of a US court case in 1896 about the legal position of sailors. Quotes the laws of the Hanseatic League in 1597, under which seamen could be punished corporally for desertion, neglect of duty, etc.


flag FIJI

See Country files.


flag GRENADA

See Country files.


flag GUYANA (these external links will open in a new window)

Social conditions in British Guiana, 1914-1918  (Alternative link) [HISTORY]
Mentions a crime wave during the first world war, as a result of which judicial and institutional CP statistics rose.


flag HONG KONG

Unofficial Histories of Hong Kong [HISTORY]
References to inhumane floggings of prisoners in the 19th century.


blob More documentation for judicial CP in Hong Kong


flag IRAN (these external links will open in a new window)

Mullahs' inhuman regime whipped five prisoners in public
Information about public floggings in Iran in 2008, from a group opposed to the current regime.

Runner's mission: Peace
June 2003 article in the Shawnee News-Star, Oklahoma, about a man doing a round-the-world trek for peace. He says that in his native Iran he was publicly flogged for eating during Ramadan.


blob More documentation for judicial CP in Iran


flag IRELAND

See Country files.


flag ISLE OF MAN (these external links will open in a new window)

Reports of Proceedings of the House of Keys, 9 May 2000 [PDF] [HISTORY]
The Manx birch was last used in 1976, but as recently as 2000 some politicians were still arguing for its return. The question is raised here in the local parliament in two separate debates on the same day - the Human Rights Bill and the Criminal Justice Bill.

Crime Stalker [HISTORY]
Six of the Best [HISTORY]
Manx policeman with birchAlan Corkish is a radical Merseyside poet who was birched as a youth in the Isle of Man in the 1960s. He's been campaigning against CP ever since, and here are shots from some of his UK TV appearances on the subject in the 1980s. And as a teacher in Liverpool he leaked punishment book pages to STOPP -- see this January 1981 news item. In David Leland's TV film Birth of a Nation (1982), the teacher character brilliantly played by Jim Broadbent is closely based on Alan Corkish.

Some accounts of birching on the Isle of Man [HISTORY]
The basic facts here seem to be correct but I don't know where the alleged eyewitness accounts come from -- they may well have been made up. For a reliable account of what we definitely know, see feature article Birching in the Isle of Man 1945 to 1976.

Bunch of Twigs [HISTORY]
Two versions of a poem by John Cooper Clarke about the Isle of Man birch.


blob More documentation for judicial CP in the Isle of Man



flag ITALY (these external links will open in a new window)

Tablets tell all: Ancient athletes flogged for sins [HISTORY]
A 2,000-year-old training manual from Ancient Rome has been discovered, according to this, which stipulated that Olympic athletes who performed badly were to be flogged, along with those who drank too much or cavorted with women.

Great Public Spaces: Mercato Nuoco/The Straw Market [HISTORY]
Picture of a mediaeval square in Florence. It was and is a market, but the text asserts that in the 16th century it was also a place for public punishment, where dodgy merchants "received a proper spanking" before being carted off to prison. No source is cited for this claim.


flag JAMAICA (these external links will open in a new window)

The Life and Times of Sir Anthony Musgrave [HISTORY]
Public flogging in Jamaica was abolished in 1870 but reintroduced in 1877, according to this. Later it was outlawed again, and flogging administered only within prison walls.


blob More documentation for judicial CP in Jamaica


flag KENYA

See Country files.


flag KIRIBATI (these external links will open in a new window)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1998
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2000
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2001
Under traditional law, island councils occasionally order strokes with palm fronds for public drunkenness and petty thievery. The 2000 and 2001 reports merely repeat the same information.


flag KYRGYZSTAN (these external links will open in a new window)

Amnesty International Report 1997  (Alternative link)
Kyrgyzstan is in what used to be the Soviet Union. Since it became independent, "elders' courts" have sprung up, which inflict floggings (no details given).


blob LATIN AMERICA GENERALLY (these external links will open in a new window)

Punishment of Slaves in Colonial Latin America and the Caribbean [HISTORY]
Gives examples of floggings in Peru, Chile and Mexico in the 16th and 17th centuries.


flag LESOTHO (these external links will open in a new window)

Amnesty International Report 1999  (Alternative link)
Mentions the whipping of two women on their buttocks by the police, presumably illicitly.


flag LIBERIA (these external links will open in a new window)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1998 [HISTORY]
Reports on a number of floggings (no details given), some by the security forces rather than the courts, but one ordered by a magistrate.


flag LIBYA (these external links will open in a new window)

June 1997: Gross Human Rights Violations Amid Secrecy and Isolation
Amnesty document whose Section 3(c) is headed "Corporal punishments". Sets out the legal provisions under which adulterers may be whipped. However, Amnesty had received no reports of such punishments being carried out.


flag MALAYSIA (these external links will open in a new window)

About Life and Death
Message on a board from, I suppose, a former convict giving what purports to be an eyewitness account of a three-stroke caning. It seems rather exaggerated if you look at the video clip of the real thing.


blob More documentation for judicial CP in Malaysia


flag MALDIVES

See Country files.

flag MICRONESIA

Federated States of Micronesia
From the World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems. In Micronesia "traditional corporal punishments" (no details given) may be administered under customary law.


flag MOZAMBIQUE

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1998
Mentions a case in which vigilante villagers publicly flogged three men accused of sorcery and cannibalism.


flag NEW ZEALAND

See Country files.


flag NIGERIA

See Country files.


flag PAKISTAN

See Country files.


flag PAPUA NEW GUINEA (these external links will open in a new window)

Remembering the war in New Guinea: Interview with Robin Kombeng [HISTORY]
The interviewee was a boy in New Guinea when the Japanese invaded in World War II. He says that he and his friends were tried before a Japanese officer for disobeying instructions and sentenced to caning. They were whipped under a tree. It is not clear how official or unofficial this was, but it's interesting that he talks of being formally ordered to receive a given number of strokes of the cane, rather than simply being casually beaten by the occupying soldiers, as one might expect in that situation.


flag PHILIPPINES (these external links will open in a new window)

5 mall guards charged for maltreating minor  (Alternative link)
News item (Sep 2000) about security guards whipping a teenager on the buttocks with a plastic pipe. This was clearly illicit, but since it was evidently 'judicial' in intent, I include it here for the sake of completeness.


flag POLAND (these external links will open in a new window)

Institute for Jewish Policy Research: Poland
This document claims that in 2001 there was a far-right political party calling for the introduction of corporal punishment. It doesn't say what they meant by that, but if they meant flogging or caning it would be a very remarkable idea, since Poland hasn't had any such thing for centuries, as far as I am aware.


flag QATAR

See Country files.


flag ROMANIA (these external links will open in a new window)

Amnesty International Report 1998  (Alternative link)
Reports on a case in which police made a boy take his pants off and beat his buttocks with a truncheon -- "unofficial JCP" perhaps.


flag RUSSIA (these external links will open in a new window)

book coverLanguages of the Lash [HISTORY]
Blurb for a book (which unfortunately costs $40) subtitled "Corporal Punishment and Identity in Imperial Russia".


The Cossack Brotherhood Reborn: A Political/military Force in a Realm of Chaos
The collapse of the Soviet Union led to a resurgence of old Russian structures and values. According to this paper, Cossack groups have reappeared and in some regions have taken over law enforcement, including public floggings.

September 1997: Working against laws punishing sexual relations between men
This Amnesty International report stated that Chechnya at the time was imposing caning for homosexual acts.

From Anapa to Adrianopol [HISTORY]
Mentions the abolition of flogging for sailors in the Black Sea Fleet, c.1820.

Amnesty International Report 1999  (Alternative link)
States that the Chechen Sharia Criminal Code was in force in 1998 but cites no reports of corporal punishment being applied.


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