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Directive (EU) 2016/800 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings

‘(13) Member States should determine the age of the child on the basis of the child's own statements, checks of the child's civil status, documentary research, other evidence and, if such evidence is unavailable or inconclusive, a medical examination. A medical examination should be carried out as a last resort and in strict compliance with the child's rights, physical integrity and human dignity. Where a person's age remains in doubt, that person should, for the purposes of this Directive, be presumed to be a child.’
‘(31) Member States should be able to derogate temporarily from the obligation to provide assistance by a lawyer in the pre-trial phase for compelling reasons, namely where there is an urgent need to avert serious adverse consequences for the life, liberty or physical integrity of a person, or where immediate action by the investigating authorities is imperative to prevent substantial jeopardy to criminal proceedings in relation to a serious criminal offence, inter alia, with a view to obtaining information concerning the alleged co-perpetrators of a serious criminal offence, or in order to avoid the loss of important evidence regarding a serious criminal offence. During a temporary derogation for one of those compelling reasons, the competent authorities should be able to question children without the lawyer being present, provided that they have been informed of their right to remain silent and can exercise that right, and that such questioning does not prejudice the rights of the defence, including the right not to incriminate oneself. It should be possible to carry out questioning, to the extent necessary, for the sole purpose of obtaining information that is essential to avert serious adverse consequences for the life, liberty or physical integrity of a person, or to prevent substantial jeopardy to criminal proceedings. Any abuse of this temporary derogation would, in principle, irretrievably prejudice the rights of the defence.’
‘(41) The duty of care towards children who are suspects or accused persons underpins a fair administration of justice, in particular where children are deprived of liberty and are therefore in a particularly weak position. In order to ensure the personal integrity of a child who is deprived of liberty, the child should have the right to a medical examination. Such a medical examination should be carried out by a physician or another qualified professional, either on the initiative of the competent authorities, in particular where specific health indications give reasons for such an examination, or in response to a request of the child, of the holder of parental responsibility or of the child's lawyer. Member States should lay down practical arrangements concerning medical examinations that are to be carried out in accordance with this Directive, and concerning access by children to such examinations. Such arrangements could, inter alia, address situations where two or more requests for medical examinations are made in respect of the same child in a short period of time.’
‘(49) Member States should ensure that children who are suspects or accused persons and kept in police custody are held separately from adults, unless it is considered to be in the child's best interests not to do so, or unless, in exceptional circumstances, it is not possible in practice to do so, provided that children are held together with adults in a manner that is compatible with the child's best interests. For example, in sparsely populated areas, it should be possible, exceptionally, for children to be held in police custody with adults, unless this is contrary to the child's best interests. In such situations, particular vigilance should be required on the part of competent authorities in order to protect the child's physical integrity and well-being.’
Article 6 - Assistance by a lawyer
‘(8) In exceptional circumstances, and only at the pre-trial stage, Member States may temporarily derogate from the application of the rights provided for in paragraph 3 to the extent justified in the light of the particular circumstances of the case, on the basis of one of the following compelling reasons:
(a) where there is an urgent need to avert serious adverse consequences for the life, liberty or physical integrity of a person; [...]’