Prohibition of all corporal punishment in Israel (2000)

In January 2000 the Israel Supreme Court effectively banned all parental corporal punishment, however light. One of the three judges wrote:

In the judicial, social and educational circumstances in which we live, we must not make compromises that can endanger the welfare and physical well-being of minors... If we allow 'light' violence, it might deteriorate into very serious violence. We must not endanger the physical and mental well-being of a minor with any type of corporal punishment. A truth which is worthy must be clear and unequivocal and the message is that corporal punishment is not allowed."

At the time the Civil Wrongs Ordinance 1944 provided a defence for the use of corporal punishment in childrearing, stating in article 24 that in respect of assault “it will be a defence if  … (7) the defendant is the parent or guardian or teacher of the plaintiff, or his or her status in regard to the plaintiff is similar to that of a parent or guardian or teacher, and he or she punished the plaintiff in an amount reasonably necessary in order that the plaintiff correct his or her behavior.” This defence was repealed in 2000, following the Supreme Court judgment.


Further information

  • Global Initiative country report for Israel


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