European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) CPT/Inf(2015)1-part rev1 Juveniles deprived of their liberty under criminal legislation Extract from the 24th General Report of the CPT, published in 2015 1. Preliminary remarks 96. In 1998, in its 9th General Report, the CPT set out the criteria which guide its work when visiting places where “juveniles” (i.e. persons under the age of 181) are deprived of their liberty. In particular, it identified a number of safeguards which should be offered to all juveniles deprived of their liberty under criminal legislation and the conditions which should obtain in detention centres specifically designed for juveniles. The Committee considers that the time is ripe to review these standards based upon its visit experience since 1998 and taking into consideration developments at the European and universal levels, focusing at this stage on the deprivation of liberty of juveniles in the criminal law context. At the outset, the CPT reiterates that its standards should be viewed as complementary to those set out in international instruments, notably the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Recommendation CM/Rec (2008) 11 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to member states on the European Rules for juvenile offenders subject to sanctions or measures (“European rules for young offenders”), which provides a detailed set of rules for the treatment of juvenile offenders in Europe.2 The Committee subscribes wholeheartedly to the cardinal principles enshrined in Articles 3 and 37.b of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in Rules 5 and 10 of the European Rules for juvenile offenders, namely that in all action concerning juveniles, their best interests shall be a primary consideration and that they should only be deprived of their liberty as a last resort and for the shortest possible period of time. 1 In the majority of Council of Europe member states, the minimum age of criminal responsibility is fixed at the age of 14 or 15 years, while, in a few countries, the minimum age ranges from eight to 13 years. 2 See also the 1985 United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (“Beijing Rules”), the 1990 United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (“Havana Rules”), the 1990 United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (“Riyadh Guidelines”) and the 2010 Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on child friendly justice.