Cyprus: Interview Of Lawyer Savva Savvides About School Bullying

  • Suggestion for passing the law and establishing a clear legal framework for the protection and prevention of school bullying.

Q: I recently read another interview you had about school bullying and the example of the Public Kindergarten where the Kindergarten teacher of that school through a course taught children how to respect diversity in people. Is this indeed a problem confronting our children in schools?
Re: It is a multidimensional and complex problem that blights the Cypriot society, called in English bullying i.e. bullying is the social scourge that at the present time manifests in anti-social behavior between different social groups. Bullying, if I can venture to describe it in terms of aggressive behaviour, does not merely focus on the adult societal groups in the strict sense of the law, but appears mostly in the younger age groups of a society. This issue on legal grounds continues to concern us in Cyprus, often, and especially regarding the legal protection of children who are suffering from such unlawful behaviour from their abusers which make them victims - with severe and serious repercussions within the school boundaries.

Q: In what ways is school bullying experienced?
Re: Bullying in the strict sense of the term is aggressive behavior emanating from the abuser's personal characteristics, and displayed in the following ways: physical, verbal, psychological or social violence, which manifests in deceiving, sudden, unprovoked and usually repeated behaviour that usually takes place in a familiar and secure environment where the person experiencing the bullying spends most of his time, such as the school, the University, the military, prisons, the workplace, with the result that it often reaches the media and the social network. The abuser (whether an adult or a minor) attempts to enforce and cause moral, psychological pain, mental shock, creating fear and using any means to achieve the purpose of causing emotional and physical harm against the targeted person, or even a group of persons who suffer, often forcing the victim to do things where he hurts himself.

Q: Are there many serious incidents of school bullying in Cyprus?
Re: Extreme incidents of severe school bullying have taken place, the latest bullying cases being the one in Greece of Vangelis Giakoumaki as well as the recent case on Cypriot soil with the learner who had to be hospitalized, after being severely beaten, and in general there are frequent incidents of students who even attempt and commit suicide or are publicly humiliated, as well as numerous resonant cases that have shaken the society and have had to be resolved through the courts.

Q: Are countries criminalizing the so-called act of bullying?
Re: In Greece because of the unfortunately frequent and severe cases recorded, the present Government has been forced to consider and modify the existing criminal legislation governing intimidation and has adopted the amendment of article 312 of the Criminal Code. The frequent serious incidents that have occurred has led to criminal charges being laid of intimidation by "bullying" and to measures being taken such as the establishment of independent authorities who are addressing this issue, including monitoring of online media.
In modern Cyprus where a strong family link is still valid, the increasing incidence of school bullying is causing turmoil which intensifies the responsibilities of both the society and the State.

Q: Is there a legal framework in Cyprus to address violence?
Re: Unfortunately, at international, European and local levels there is no specific legal framework or policy framework with regard to addressing violence in schools, only preventive measures, without a clear section outlining legal protection for victims.
The Government and competent bodies including teachers and police agencies are mobilised and I can say that there is a special awareness on the subject with various social campaigns. Nevertheless, there is no specific law or amended existing criminal law which imposes legal rules and penalties to prevent and tackle such anti-social behaviour affecting young people and children and shaping tomorrow's society.

Q: But are there core Articles for the protection of human rights that include intimidation?
Re: Violence through bullying amongst the youth violates the fundamental right of the individual to respect of human dignity and physical integrity. Many international organizations and European institutions endorse the explicit prohibition of such illegal acts that harm the mental and physical health of children which naturally constitute a violation of the rights of the child and his right to internationally recognised equal protection measures.
As a person in a society such as Cyprus, minors are protected and are subject to constitutional rights. Articles 7, 8, and 11 of the Cyprus Constitution, put emphasis on the protection of individuals with regard to the right to life and physical integrity, to not being treated harshly or in a degrading way, and furthermore the right of freedom and personal security.
At the international level, the International Convention on Children's Rights and specifically Article 37 provides for the protection of children in not being subjected to torture or other cruel, inhumane, degrading punishments or treatment.
At European level, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) on the issue of conditions, provides for the safeguarding of physical integrity and general respect for the honour and dignity of the individual.
The gap is filled in the revised European Social Charter in Article 17 where it includes specific reference to the protection of children and youth in general from situations of neglect, abuse or exploitation.

Q: What do you think needs to be done to eradicate this phenomenon?
Re: Bullying merits taking specific preventive tactics, over and above awareness by information, and to ban and eliminate acts of harassment by the passing of legislation, to protect the victim and to let the perpetrator know that he will suffer the consequences of infringing such legislation. Therefore, it is imperative to establish a clear legal framework for the protection and prevention of school bullying and all kinds of intimidation and adopt a reliable intervention technique.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions