Legal Update for Children in Conflict with the Law

Legal Update for Children in Conflict with the Law

Cyprus Parliament has proceeded with an amendment to the Law of Children in Conflict with the Law (N.55(I)/2021) in early April 2024 to better define the conditions under which a child may be held in custody.

Specifically, the following amendments/additions have been passed in Section 119 of the Law (as they appear in underline format below):

  1. (1) The Children’s Court may order the detention of a child who has been found guilty of committing an office in children’s detention facility as a measure of last resort.

(2) In any event, the detention of a child who is in conflict with the Law –

(a) shall only be imposed on a child who has completed its sixteenth (16th) year of age on the date on which the decision of the Children’s Court is issued;

(b) shall be imposed only as a measure of last resort and shall have the minimum duration possible, taking into account the age, personal circumstances of the child and the special circumstances of the case and after exploring the possibility to impose, instead of detention, other penalties which are in accordance to the provisions of this Law, or where such penalties were imposed and were not effective;

(c) shall not be imposed by the Children’s Court in the event that, for any reason, the child was not represented by or obtained the assistance of a lawyer during the hearing process before the Court.

(3) The penalty of detention of the child shall not exceed half of the applicable penalty imposed for the same offence as which the chid has been convicted for, and in case that the applicable penalty is life imprisonment, it shall not exceed the duration of ten (10) years.

(4) The Children’s Court may impose the penalty of detention to a child only in case that the prosecution has declared before the Court that the child shall be detained in a children’s detention center:

Provided that, for the purpose of this subsection and until the 1st January 2026, it shall be satisfactory that a representation before the Court that the child shall be held in a special detention facility within the prison:

It is further provided that, a child shall not be detained together with any adult who has reached the twenty-first (21st) year of age.

(5)  The personnel and any other professional who is located in a child detention center shall receive training as to the handling of children in conflict with the law, the rights of children and the application of this present Law.

It is further provided that, during the detention of children in the special detention area within the prisons, the basic principle of detention of children provided for in the provisions of Section 123 of the Law shall be applicable.

For any further guidance regarding this procedure or if you require an initial consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our Law Firm at [email protected], +357 22 251 777 or +357 25 261 777 or please visit our office in Nicosia or Limassol.