There's an effort in the British Parliament to "spare the rod," despite the Biblical advice that to do so will "spoil the child." The parliamentary committees want the government to pass a law forbidding parents from hitting their children. But they admit winning public support could be hard if it means parents might be prosecuted for giving their children a mild smack.
Britain , by the way, has a long tradition of corporal punishment. Hitting children with a cane, often until they bled, was a routine classroom punishment for centuries. That practice was banned only in 1998.
It would not be unprecedented—physical punishment of children is already illegal in Sweden , Demark, and Austria . Like virtue, compassion cannot be legislated. Well, maybe it can be legislated, but is it enforceable? Just as in most countries, child abuse is already against the law. If a child is seen with bruises and/or swelling, chances are somebody—a teacher or a neighbor—is going to notify the authorities. But, is it wise to invite a call to the Law just because some unruly kid is seen getting a good whack to the backside?