Whipping and forms of life imprisonment are currently lawful for child offenders in Brunei Darussalam, but if the new Syariah Penal Code Order is fully implemented, it will introduce the death penalty, amputation, whipping and flogging for offences committed by children.
On 1 May 2014 the initial provisions of the Syariah Penal Code Order came into force introducing imprisonment and fines for a number of Syariah offences, though not the death penalty or corporal punishment. The Sultan of Brunei announced in April 2014 that the remaining provisions will be gradually introduced over the next three years.
If fully implemented this new Code will allow children as young as 15 to be stoned to death for adultery, robbery in which murder is committed, rape, homosexual intercourse between males, and anal intercourse between an unmarried male and a woman who is not his wife. For several forms of apostasy, capital punishment would be lawful without a lower age limit and for committing murder, a child could be sentenced to death from the age of 15.
The new Code would also introduce severe forms of corporal punishment for children, by authorising the amputation of the right hand for committing theft and the left foot for committing theft a second time. Amputation would also be permitted for piracy and robbery, while whipping and flogging would be introduced for a large number of offences.
This report details the legality of the death penalty, life imprisonment and corporal punishment in Brunei Darussalam and provides information on advocacy to challenge the inhuman sentencing of children.