September 22, 2006
‘Smacking children’ injunction bid fails
Judge rejects last minute application by NSPCC to stop ITV programme
The NSPCC last night failed in a last minute bid to prevent ITV from broadcasting a documentary about smacking, ‘I Smack and I’m Proud’.
The programme depicted several identified children being repeatedly smacked by their parents. It included footage of some of the children discussing their experiences at home.
The NSPCC alleged that the broadcast would result in the children featured in the film suffering bullying and humiliation.
Giving judgment less than two hours before the programme was due to start, Mr Justice Ryder rejected the NSPCC’s argument that, in considering whether to prevent the broadcast, the interests of the child were paramount. He ruled that instead he had to balance the Article 8 rights of the children with the Article 10 rights of the broadcaster and the parents, all of who had consented to the broadcast.
The judge found that the evidence of harm before the court was largely speculative and that the identities of several of the children were already in the public domain. He also considered that there was a significant public interest in the subject matter of the programme.
5RB’s Adam Wolanski appeared for ITV