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Are sanctions foreseen/provided by anti-discrimination legislation?

Key Area:
Anti-discrimination Legislation & Implementation
10/01/2012 - 10:00
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

 Law 42(I)/2004 article 28 vests the Equality body with the power to issue orders (through publication in the Official Gazette) for the elimination of the situation which directly produced discrimination, although such right is somewhat limited by a number of exceptions (listed in articles 14(2) and 14(3) of Law 42(I)/2004). The Equality body is further empowered to impose small fines which cannot exceed CYP350 (Euros 598) for discriminatory behaviour, treatment or practice; CYP250 (Euros 427) for racial discrimination in the enjoyment of a right or freedom; CYP350 (Euros 598) for non-compliance with the Equality Body’s recommendation within the specified time limit; and CYP50 (Euros 85.44) daily for continuing non-compliance after the deadline set by the Equality body (articles 18 and 26(1) of Law 42(I)/2004). Generally speaking, the fines are very low to offer deterrence and therefore they are hardly ever imposed by the Equality body, which prefers to use its mediation function.
The Equality Body may also issue recommendations to the person against whom a complaint has been lodged, and to supervise compliance with orders issued against persons found guilty of discrimination (article 24, Law 42(I)/2004). It is possible for the Equality Body to recommend school desegregation plans or the instigation of disciplinary proceedings against teachers or other persons guilty of discrimination; in practice, however, the Equality body’s recommendations hardly ever propose measures as drastic as that and there is a clear tendency towards ‘diplomacy’ and mediation, evidenced by the fact that no binding decisions have been issued so far and no fines have been imposed yet.
The Equality body does not have the power to award compensation to victims of discrimination, but its decisions may be relied upon to claim compensation in Court. In addition to damages, a victim of discrimination may apply to the labour tribunal seeking reinstatement to a position from which s/he was unlawfully dismissed. Under article 13 of law 59(I)/2004 (transposing the Racial Equality Directive minus the employment component) the penalty to be imposed by the Court against a physical person found to be guilty, is a maximum of CYP4.000 (Euros 6,835.27) and/or imprisonment of up to six months. For legal persons the maximum penalty is CYP7.000 (Euros 1,196.72). An offense committed under the same law out of gross negligence carries a penalty of up to CYP2000 for physical persons. If the offense has been committed out gross negligence, the fine for physical persons is up to CYP2.000 (Euro 3,417.63); for legal persons, there is a fine of up to CYP2.000 (Euro 3,417.63) for the managing director, chairman, director, secretary or other officer if it can be proven that the offense was committed with his/her consent plus an additional fine of up to CYP4.000 (Euro 6,835.27) for the company or organisation. Under article 15 of law 58(I)/2004 (transposing the Employment Directive) the penalties are identical to those provided for the law transposing the Race Directive. No such fines have been imposed by the Courts so far.

There are also penal remedies against discrimination.  Section 2A (4) of Law 28(III)1999 ratifying the ICERD provides that any person who supplies goods or services by profession and refuses such supply to another by reason of his racial or ethnic origin or his religion, or who makes such supply subject to a condition relating to the racial or ethnic origin or to the religion of a person is guilty of an offense and is liable to imprisonment not exceeding one year or to a fine not exceeding four hundred pounds or to both such punishments” [about 6700 euros]. The Criminal Code, (Cap.154) Article 51A, provides that whoever publicly and in any way “procures the inhabitants to acts of violence against each other or to mutual discord or foments the creation of a spirit of intolerance is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment of up to twelve months or to a fine. The law ratifying the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cyber crime concerning the Criminalisation of Acts of Racist or Xenophobic Nature committed through Computer Systems (Law Ν. 26(ΙΙΙ)/2004) also creates a number of criminal offences, each of which is punishable with a prison sentence of up to five years and/or a fine of up to CYP20.000 (Euros 34,176.35).

Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Roma & Travelers, Muslims, Ethnic minorities, Religious minorities, Linguistic minorities, Asylum seekers, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, Persons with disability
Type (R/D) Extremism - organised Racist Violence, Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Anti-semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, Arabophobia, Anti-roma/zinghanophobia, Religious intolerance, Inter-ethnic, Intra-ethnic, Nationalism, Homophobia, On grounds of disability, On grounds of other belief
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Policing - law enforcement, Employment - labour market, Housing, Health and social protection, Education, Anti-discrimination, Anti-racism
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