The circumcision of boys could be banned in Tasmania following a report on the legality of the controversial procedure.
The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute has recommended the practice be deemed an offence unless it is performed for "well-established" religious or cultural reasons.
The institute says law reform is needed to clarify its legality and make unscrupulous practitioners face criminal sanctions.
"Analysis of the legal position reveals thatthe law is uncertain as to whether non-therapeutic infant male circumcision is lawful," the institute's director Professor Kate Warner said.
Among the other recommendations is the need for a court order for a circumcision to take place if a child's parents disagree on it.
Pain and trauma affecting mental health can be associated with the practice, while the benefit of fighting some infections is not significant in developed countries, the report says.
Australia already has laws outlawing female genital mutilation but the circumcision of boys has largely been considered a decision for parents.
The report says more than 19,000 Medicare claims were lodged in 2010 for circumcisions performed on boys aged under six months throughout Australia.
The rate has dropped from around 90 per cent in the 1950s to around 12 per cent in recent years, and is only around 1.5 per cent in Tasmania.
Only Queensland public hospitals still perform the procedure, the report said.
Link to further information, including the report, on the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute website, here - http://www.law.utas.edu.au/reform/re...m#circumcision