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Tasmanian state body recommends banning nonreligious circumcision

JTA

August 24, 2012 | 11:18 am

An advisory governmental institution in an Australian state is recommending that it ban non-medical circumcision on boys “except for religious reasons.”

The Tasmania Law Reform Institute – whose task is to modernize state laws – recommended “the enactment of a new and separate offence generally prohibiting the circumcision of incapable minors in Tasmania.” The state has “unclear” legislation on circumcision, the 101-page report says.

However, the report – which was released earlier this month – states the new legislation ought to create an exception for “some well-established religious or ethnicity motivated circumcision.”

More than half a million people live in Tasmania, according to a 2011 government census. About 150 Jews were living in the Australian state as of 2003, according to the New York Jewish Week.

Tasmania – one of six Australian states – founded the institute in 2001 along with the University of Tasmania and the Law Society of Tasmania.

Circumcision should not be performed on minors in any case without signed permission from both parents, according to the report.

The institute also wants to clarify what happens if parents disagree on whether a circumcision should be done and it says that a circumciser who fails to meet a certain standard of care should be criminally liable.

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