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Template:Corporal punishment

Judicial corporal punishment ("JCP") is the formal application of flogging, caning, birching, whipping, or strapping as an official sentence by order of a court, as laid down for specified offences under the law of the country concerned. Once commonplace in many countries, it has now been abolished in nearly all the Western world, but remains a standard penalty in some Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries. These are mostly either former British colonies (now members of the Commonwealth) such as Malaysia,[1] Singapore and Tanzania,[2] or Muslim countries with a system of Islamic (Sharia) law.

The Singaporean official punishment of caning became much discussed around the world in 1994[3] when American teenager Michael P. Fay was sentenced to six strokes of the cane for vandalism.[4] Since that time, the number of caning sentences handed down each year in Singapore has doubled.[5]

Other ex-British territories with judicial caning currently on their statute books include Barbados,[6] Botswana,[7] Brunei,[8] Swaziland,[9] Tonga,[10] Trinidad & Tobago,[11] and Zimbabwe.[12] It has been abolished in recent decades in Hong Kong,[13] the Isle of Man,[14] Jamaica,[15] Kenya,[16] South Africa,[17] Sri Lanka, and Zambia.[18]

In the United Kingdom itself, JCP was abolished in 1948,[19] and in the Isle of Man, after the Tyrer v. UK decision at the European Court of Human Rights. It was removed from the statute book in Canada in 1972,[20] in India in the 1950s, in New Zealand in 1941,[21] and in Australia at various times in the 20th century according to State.[22]

Many countries with an Islamic legal system, such as Iran,[23] northern Nigeria,[24] Saudi Arabia,[25] Sudan[26] and Yemen[27] employ judicial whipping or caning for a range of offences. In Indonesia (Aceh province only) it has recently been introduced for the first time.[28]

Other countries that were neither British nor Islamic that have used JCP in the more distant past include China,[29] Germany,[30] Korea,[31] Sweden[32] and Vietnam.[33] In the United States it was last used in 1952 in Delaware.[34]

Countries where JCP is used

File:Map of judicial corporal punishment.svg

  Countries with judicial corporal punishment

A list of 33 countries that use lawful, official JCP today is as follows:

  1. Template:Country data Afghanistan (men and women - whip or strap, no target specified; public or private)[35][36]
  2. Template:Country data Antigua and Barbuda (boys only - details unclear)[37][38]
  3. Template:Country data Bahamas (men - cat on bare back; boys - cane on bare buttocks; in private)[39][40]
  4. Template:Country data Barbados (boys only - details unclear)[6]
  5. Template:Country data Botswana (males aged 14 to 40 - cane on bare buttocks; in private)[41][42]
  6. Template:Country data Brunei (men and boys - cane on bare buttocks; in private)[8][43][44]
  7. Template:Country data Dominica (boys under 16 - details unclear)[45]
  8. Template:Country data Grenada (men and boys - details unclear)[46]
  9. Template:Country data Ecuador (men and women - traditional indigenous justice)[47]
  10. Template:Country data Guyana (men and boys - details unclear)[48]
  11. Template:Country data Indonesia, Aceh State only (men and women - cane on clothed back; in public)[28]
  12. Template:Country data Iran (men, women, boys, girls - whip or strap, no target specified; public or private)[23]
  13. Template:Country data Lesotho (men and boys - details unclear)[49]
  14. Template:Country data Malaysia (Criminal law: men and boys - cane on bare buttocks; in private)[1] * (Sharia law, Muslims only: men and women - cane on clothed back; in private)[50][51]
  15. Template:Country data Maldives (men and women - details unclear)[52]
  16. Template:Country data Nigeria (men, women, boys, girls - cane on clothed buttocks or whip on bare back; in public. Used only in Sharia states)[24][53]
  17. Template:Country data Pakistan (men and boys - cane or strap on clothed buttocks; public or private)[54]
  18. Template:Country data Qatar (men and women - details unclear; in private)[55]
  19. Template:Country data Saint Kitts and Nevis (boys and men - details unclear)[56][57]
  20. Template:Country data Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (boys only - cane on bare buttocks)[58]
  21. Template:Country data Saudi Arabia (men and women - whip or cane over clothes, no target specified; public or private)[59]
  22. Template:Country data Sierra Leone (boys only - cane or birch on bare buttocks)[60]
  23. Template:Country data Singapore (men and boys - cane on bare buttocks; in private). See Caning in Singapore.
  24. Template:Country data Somalia (men and women - cane on clothed buttocks)[61]
  25. Template:Country data Sudan (men, women, boys, girls - whip on clothed back)[26]
  26. Template:Country data Swaziland (boys only - cane on bare buttocks)[9]
  27. Template:Country data Tanzania (men and boys - cane on bare buttocks; in private)[2]
  28. Template:Country data Tonga (men - cat on bare buttocks; boys - birch or cat on bare buttocks)[10]
  29. Template:Country data Trinidad and Tobago (men only - cat on bare back or birch on bare buttocks; in private)[62]
  30. Template:Country data Tuvalu (details unclear)[63]
  31. Template:Country data United Arab Emirates (Muslims only: men - whip on bare back; women - whip on clothed back; public or private)[64]
  32. Template:Country data Yemen (details unclear)[27]
  33. Template:Country data Zimbabwe (boys only - cane on bare buttocks; in private)[65]

The above list does not include countries where a "blind eye" is sometimes turned to unofficial JCP by local tribes, authorities, etc. including Bangladesh,[66] and Colombia.[67]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Pudu Prison exhibition, Kuala Lumpur, 1998.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "United Republic of Tanzania: Current legality of corporal punishment". GITEACPOC. Updated March 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  3. "What US columnists say about Fay's caning". The Straits Times (Singapore). 8 April 1994. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  4. Charles P. Wallis (4 March 1994). "Ohio Youth to be Flogged in Singapore". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  5. "Singapore Human Rights Practices, 1994". US Department of State. February 1995. Retrieved 2010-09-24. and "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2007". Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. US Department of State. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Barbados: Current legality of corporal punishment". GITEACPOC. Updated February 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  7. Nomsa, Ndlovu (11 May 2006). "A village choking under crime". Mmegi (Gaborone). Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Brunei Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2004". US Department of State.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Report 2007 for Swaziland, Amnesty International.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Laws of Tonga, Chapter 18.
  11. Swamber, Keino (1 June 2006). "Twelve strokes for sex with girl, 12". Trinidad Express (Port of Spain).
  12. "Boy to receive 2 cane strokes". Sunday Mail (Harare). 21 May 2006.
  13. Thomas, Hedley (22 April 1994). "Patten may appeal for clemency on sentence". South China Morning Post (Hong Kong).
  14. "Isle of Man to scrap birch at a stroke". The Guardian (London). 6 March 1993.
  15. "Jamaican court abolishes flogging". CNN. 18 December 1998. Afterwards, in 2000, the UN Human Rights Committee found in case Osbourne v. Jamaica, concerning a whipping conducted in 1997, that corporal punishment constituted 'cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment contrary to article 7 of ICCPR' (Para. 9.1). A similar conclusion was reached in 2002 in case Higginson v. Jamaica No. 792/1998.
  16. Bowry, Pravin (16 September 2003). "Changes in criminal law significant". Daily Nation (Nairobi).
  17. Abolition of Corporal Punishment Act, 1997.
  18. "Parliament supports repeal of corporal punishment". Zana (Zambia News Agency). Lusaka. 13 November 2003.
  19. "Power to order flogging: Abolition approved in Committee". The Times (London). 12 December 1947.
  20. The Canadian Prison Strap, World Corporal Punishment Research.
  21. "The Fall and Fall of Corporal Punishment", November 1999 Newsletter, EPOCH New Zealand.
  22. Australia: Judicial CP, World Corporal Punishment Research.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Iran Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2004, US Department of State.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Finkel, David (24 November 2002). "Crime and Holy Punishment: In Divided Nigeria, Search for Justice Leads Many to Embrace Islamic Code". The Washington Post.
  25. "Government Must Codify Taaziri Punishment Rules". Arab News (Jeddah/Riyadh). 25 May 2008.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Sudan Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2006, US Department of State.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Yemen State Report, GITEACPOC, June 2007.
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Aceh gamblers caned in public". BBC News Online (London). 24 June 2005.
  29. Xing Bao (9 October 2003). "Citizen Cane". Shanghai Star.
  30. "Judicial and Prison Flogging in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-century Germany", World Corporal Punishment Research.
  31. Old photographs of judicial floggings in Korea at World Corporal Punishment Research. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  32. Penal Code 1809 at The Early History of Data Networks. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  33. "La loi de l'époque" at Les images d'autrefois du Vietnam. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  34. Red Hannah: Delaware's Whipping Post.
  35. "Afghan charity workers receive lashing, set free". Jakarta Post. Reuters. 8 April 1997.
  36. "Reporters on the Job: Sharia but No Sword". Christian Science Monitor (Boston). 21 February 2006.
  37. Antigua State Report, GITEACPOC, February 2009.
  38. Weston, Tahna (15 February 2007). "Court orders 12 lashes for juvenile offenders". Antigua Sun.
  39. Criminal Law (Measures) Act 1991, The Bahamas Laws On-line.
  40. Bahamas Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2006, US Department of State.
  41. Botswana State Report, GITEACPOC, February 2008.
  42. Botswana Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2004, US Department of State.
  43. Mahathir, Helena M.; Kon, James (19 May 2005). "Anti-drugs campaign held in Tutong". Borneo Bulletin (Bandar Seri Begawan).
  44. Brunei State Report, GITEACPOC, February 2009.
  45. Dominica State Report, GITEACPOC, February 2009.
  46. Grenada State Report, GITEACPOC, February 2009.
  47. Dra. Mariana Yumbay (21 June 2007). "El ejercicio de la administración de justicia indígena en el Ecuador". Llacta. Retrieved 2010-09-24. (Spanish)
  48. Guyana State Report, GITEACPOC, February 2009.
  49. Lesotho State Report, GITEACPOC, June 2007.
  50. Damis, Aniza (27 June 2005). "The pain is in the shame". New Straits Times (Kuala Lumpur).
  51. Religious corporal punishment in Malaysia, World Corporal Punishment Research.
  52. Evans, Judith (1 June 2008). "Lashings Punishment Resumes". Minivan News (Malé).
  53. Hamid, Ruhi. Video clips from "Inside a Sharia Court", This World, BBC Two, London, broadcast 1 October 2007.
  54. Pakistan: Judicial corporal punishment by flogging at World Corporal Punishment Research. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  55. Qatar State Report, GITEACPOC, December 2008.
  56. St Kitts & Nevis State Report, GITEACPOC, February 2009.
  57. Smithen, Corliss (21 February 2006). "Convicted men get strokes, jail sentence". Sun St Kitts (Basseterre).
  58. NGO Initial Report, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Human Rights Association, January 2002.
  59. Saudi Arabia Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2006, US Department of State.
  60. Sierra Leone State Report, GITEACPOC, June 2008.
  61. Somalia Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2006, US Department of State.
  62. Heeralal, Darryl (4 June 2005). "Jail, strokes for 'dirty old man'". Trinidad Express (Port of Spain).
  63. Tuvalu Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2001, US Department of State.
  64. Awad Mustafa (25 April 2007). "Out With The Lash". Xpress (Dubai).
  65. Zimbabwe State Report, GITEACPOC, June 2007.
  66. "2005 Country Reports on Human Righrts Practices, Bangladesh". U.S. Department of State. 8 March 2006.
  67. "Colombia - Lawfulness of corporal punishment". GITEACPOC. Updated June 2007. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
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