This questionnaire is addressed to prosecutors and the member of the CCPE of each State shall be responsible for collecting of replies.

In some States, prosecutors have only reduced powers within matters of prison administration. Some States will therefore not be able to reply to all questions.

It will not be implied from the fact that this questionnaire was answered that prosecutiors shall have a role in this matter.

The scope of the questionnaire is identical to that of Recommendation Rec(2006)2 (see para.10): this questionnaire concerns any person deprived of liberty, in any form whatsoever and not strictly the person detained in a prison.

This questionnaire does not concern the enforcement of sanctions in general but is limited to the prosecutor’s supervision of the legality of the enforcement of sanctions.

Ce questionnaire s’adresse aux procureurs et le membre du CCPE au titre de chaque Etat est responsable de la collecte des réponses.

Dans certains Etats, les procureurs ont peu de compétences en matière d’administration pénitentiaire. Certains Etats ne pourront donc pas répondre à toutes les questions.

Le fait de répondre à ce questionnaire ne sous-entend pas que les procureurs doivent avoir un rôle en la matière.

Le champ d’application du questionnaire est le même que celui de la Recommandation Rec(2006)2 (voir para.10) : ce questionnaire concerne toute personne privée de liberté, sous quelque forme que ce soit, et non simplement de la personne détenue dans un établissement pénitentiaire.

Ce questionnaire ne concerne pas l’exécution des sanctions de manière générale et se limite au contrôle de la légalité de l’exécution des sanctions par le procureur.

Question 2

What are the Prosecution Service’s powers regarding prison matters and in terms of deprivation of liberty?

In Cyprus, the Department of Prisons comes under the competences of the Ministry of Justice. The Attorney General’s Office does not have any direct role regarding prison matters.

Question 3

In States where prosecutors do not have full authority in prison matters, what are nevertheless their means of action used as regards prisons ?

If a violation of human rights, which constitutes a criminal offence, occurs in prison (see the Law providing for the rights of persons arrested and in detention 163(I)/2005, which criminalizes the violation of the human rights and the rights of persons in detention), the Attorney General has the power to direct the Police to initiate criminal investigations or to appoint criminal investigators to investigate instances of alleged commission of criminal offences by members of the police.

Question 4

If prosecutors have general competences as regard prisons and detention, what kind of means have been provided to the Prosecution Service to allow its effective and fast action towards protecting human rights in matters of prison administration?

See previous questions.

Question 5

What are the positive and decisive elements of the prosecutor’s role in terms of protecting Human rights compared to other mechanisms of legal protection?

See previous questions.

Question 6

What could be the improvements to this system of protection?


Question 7

Do prosecutors have jurisdiction to examine whether the rights (Human rights and especially procedural rights) of persons in criminal (for example as regards enforcement of prison sentences or pre-trial detention) or administrative detention are respected at the detention centre?

No, this is one of the responsibilities of the Ombudsman, according to Law 2(III)/2009 (the Law which ratifies the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment adopted on 18 December 2002). This Law provides that the Ombudsman is designated as the ‘national preventive mechanism’, thus, the body which will be able to visit “any place under the jurisdiction and control where persons are or may be deprived of their liberty, either by virtue of an order given by a public authority or at its instigation or with its consent or acquiescence (…places of detention). These visits shall be undertaken with a view to strengthening, if necessary, the protection of these persons against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. However, if the Ombudsman notices or is informed of a violation of human rights which constitutes a criminal offence, according to article 9 of Law 2(III)/2009, shall notify the Attorney General (and the Independent Authority for the Investigation of  Allegation and Complaints against the Police – IAIACAP, see Q21), who has the power to direct the Police or the IAIACAP to initiate investigations.

Question 8

Can a prisoner meet in private with a prosecutor to determine whether they had been subjected to torture or to any other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment?

See Q 7.

Question 9

Do prosecutors examine, and if so, how frequently, whether the accommodation provided to prisoners meet the recommendations of the Council of Europe (and namely of the European Committee for the prevention of Torture/CPT[1]? Can prosecutors make proposals in that direction which have an influence on the relevant budget ?

See Q 7.

Question 10

What kind of means exist for prosecutors to deal with authorities or officers/employees which have not completely or properly enforced the decisions of the court or the Prosecution Service related to punishments and/or measures involving deprivation of liberty? If a prosecutor detects such negligence, is he entitled to give binding instructions for the immediate termination of the breach of law? Is it in their power to initiate criminal or disciplinary proceedings, actions for damages or any other kind of impeachment? What other prosecutorial instruments are at his disposal ?

See Q 7.

Question 11

How often do prosecutors carry out monitoring visits of institutions of criminal and administrative detention? Are there concrete follow-ups related to these visits?

Not applicable

Question 12

Within the framework of their monitoring duties, do prosecutors have the power to take action at any time of the day (even at night) in the institutions of criminal and administrative detention?

Not applicable

Question 13

May prosecutors commission experts to assist them in their tasks related to supervision and inspection?

Not applicable

Question 14

Are complaints and/or denunciations regarding criminal and administrative detention subject to prosecutorial inquiry independently of any relevant authority or employees/officers? Is it a prosecutor’s duty to complete investigations himself/herself or is he/she allowed to forward these complaints for investigation to the officers/employees that are the subject of those complaints?

Prosecutors do not carry out investigations. The Attorney General can only direct the Police or the IAIACAP to initiate investigations or appoint independent criminal investigators to investigate instances of alleged commission of criminal offences by members of the police (see also Q3 and Q15).

Question 15

In case of sudden death, accident or criminal offence committed against a prisoner, or if a prisoner commits a crime against another prisoner or a prison staff member, is the investigation conducted by a prosecutor acting as an independent judicial authority or is it simply supervised by a prosecutor? Do prosecutors have any role in investigations?

The Criminal Procedure Law (Cap.155 s.4.1) gives police the primary responsibility for investigations but it also allocates to the Council of Ministers a complementary – to the general police power – authority to appoint independent investigators in any case they consider appropriate. In 1996, for the first time, the Council of Ministers delegated to the Attorney General the power to appoint criminal investigators to investigate instances of alleged commission of criminal offences by members of the police and also economic offences punishable with more than one year imprisonment.

In addition to that, in exercise of his constitutional powers, the Attorney General of the Republic of Cyprus, can ex-proprio motu ask the Police to initiate, and carry out an investigation into the commission of any criminal offence for the purpose of determining whether to institute criminal proceedings against any person, and can give instructions to the Police regarding the conduct of the investigation (collection of evidence and interrogations).

Therefore, the Attorney General has the power to appoint criminal investigators to investigate instances of alleged commission of criminal offences by members of the police or order the police to initiate investigations regarding the cases you are referred to.

The prosecutors do not carry out investigations.

Question 16

Are prosecutors entitled to take action in procedures concerning the adoption/revocation of special measures for high risk detaineed or subject to special restrictions in connection with their role and position in active criminal organisations? If so, how?


Question 17

With a view to preserving them from any type of influence, are prosecutors autonomous or subordinated to other colleagues when monitoring the detention’s legality?

Not applicable.

Question 18

Is a prosecutor involved in granting a person’s pardon, amnesty or release, especially in the case of negative effects resulting from the punishment? Do prosecutors supervise criminal records?

According to Article 53 of the Cyprus Constitution, the President of the Republic, on the unanimous recommendation of the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General of the Republic, remits, suspends or commutes any sentence passed by a Court in the Republic.

Question 19

Are special qualifications and training required of prosecutors who carry out duties in matters of criminal and administrative detention? Please specify.

Not applicable.

Question 20

What acts (presentation of conclusions, attend hearings, appeal against court decisions) are prosecutors entitled to carry out during proceedings before judges with jurisdiction over the enforcement of sentences/surveillance judges (“juges de l’application des peines”), in states where such judge exists?

In states where such a judge does not exist, what acts (release on probation, subsequent alteration of the detention’s enforcement scheme, further restriction of a detainee’s rights, placement in solitary confinement, disciplinary punishment, and so on) are prosecutors entitled to carry out as regards court decisions?

Not applicable.

Question 21

When monitoring the enforcement of punishments, do public prosecutors interact with the ombudsman or any other organisation linked to or charged with controlling the enforcement of punishments? If so, what type of interactions are they? Could you give the names of these organisations, whether they be institutional or not, and explain briefly their roles?

Ø  See Q.7

Ø  -  Ombudsman (See Q.7)

      - Independent Authority for the Investigation of  Allegation and      Complaints against the Police – IAIACAP (investigates allegations and complaints against the police  for – inter alia – acts that constitutes violation of human rights). IAIACAP is an independent authority appointed by the Council of Ministers.

Question 22

Could you give other useful information to the preparation of the draft Opinion (relevant questions to add, documents, etc)?

[1] Suspects held in custody/defendants, men/women, juveniles/adults, criminal prisoners/other prisoners, ill/healthy persons, accessories to criminal conspiracy, recidivists/first offenders, officials - police, military, detention facility staff - involved in criminal procedures.