Thursday, July 15, 2010

The end of flogging in Tonga?

Earlier in the year, a British judge serving on the Tongan Supreme Court caused outrage by imposing a sentence of flogging - the first time the sentence had been imposed in over thirty years. Like the death penalty, corporal punishment is still on the books in Tonga, but has fallen into disuse, and has not been applied since the 1980's.

Today, the Tongan Court of Appeal overturned the sentence on the grounds that it was a cruel and unusual punishment. The court went on to note that:

interpreted in the light of international conventions and decisions of this Court it might be argued that the whipping provision is now unconstitutional.
And that, hopefully, is the end of flogging in Tonga. But it won't be finally dead until the law is repealed - something which will hopefully follow the democratic elections in November.