Cyprus law and the Cyprus legal system have been bestowed upon us by the British when on the independence of Cyprus left us with a heritage of more than 1000 years of uninterrupted legal evolution. Further development of the Cyprus law has been on similar specifications. Our Law Office is manned by expert Lawyers who will advise you on any legal problem involving Cyprus Law.
Cyprus Law – Cyprus Legal System: Where Does Cyprus Law Derive its Rich Sources From ?
Considering that Cyprus is a comparatively young Republic its Law and Legal System are far advanced and rich with statutory provisions and principles, based mostly on the British Law and Legal System, so it has behind it eons of development and refinement. By the Court of Justice Law 1960 article 29(1) (c) the British laws and legal system were preserved for use in the Republic of Cyprus when it was established in 1960. Also Cyprus Parliament in the Constitution in article 188.1 keeps in force all the laws and the legal system created by the British Crown in Cyprus until 1960.
Before 1878 when the British Crown took control of the island from the Ottomans, Cyprus law was made up of laws known as the “Common Cypriot Laws” but that was gradually eroded and faded out on the insistence of the various conquerors who ruled the island with the last ones being the Ottomans whose rule and law were cruel and suppressing. A system of law before the Ottomans gradually created during the Byzantine – Roman times to a certain extent satisfied the people’s needs for objective justice, but is was soon abolished by the Venetians. The British introduced their laws and own Legal System into Cyprus Law, gradually in their established colonial policy. So the modem Cyprus Law is divided into three branches, all of which complement each other into a cascade of legal torrents pooling into a quiet lake of crystal clear laws, regulations statutes and decisions, ensuring an independent, just, legal system.
Cyprus Law – Cyprus Legal System: The three branches of Law in Cyprus are the following:
A. The Common Law
The Common Law principles emanate in the prodigious English unwritten laws, sprouting as early as 1215 A.C. with the ceding of the Magna Carta to the people! The Common Law Principles define the intertwined rules, of the customs and traditions and some religious canons all packed tightly together to form the Common Law.
The common Law is a very special lax and singular law system which despite the strong influences which it got from the Roman law, has preserved its singularity and until today it is still resorted to by all legal experts. Cyprus lawyers are lucky to be able to resort to such a rich legal system whose sources are lost back in time.
The simplicity of these rules-laws is such as to make them easily digested and understood by the common man in the street and it is interwoven with objective criteria which assist in reaching good, sensible, practical justice.
Cyprus Lawyers in fact depend a lot on the Common Law principles to base their litigation and causes of action to reinforce the statutory provisions on which their claim is founded.
B. The Principles of Equity
The Rules of Equity (Equal Justice!) were gradually cemented into the Legal System in order to compliment and fill some gaps in the Common Law principles. So the Equitable principles of Law have evolved into very essential principles of law in Cyprus and prevail to the principles of Common Law. The general principles of Equity known as the Maxims of Equity (e.g. He who comes to Equity must come with clean hands or Equality in Equity, or he who seeks Equity must do Equity etc) have as their main purpose to create a just consciousness in dealing justice so that no injustice is made by adhering to the strict rules of the Common Law or even statute Law. So the Law in Cyprus is guarded by two sets of Rules the Common Law and Equity which ensure the core of conscious justice and avoid any injustice made by observing only the letter of the law.
One very strong principle of Equity is the principle of Estoppel which stops a litigant from asserting rights depending on any agreement if that would be unconscionable and would cause injustice. Another well known legal structure based on the principle of law established by Equity is the Trusts! The Law of trusts in essence consolidates and validates a lot of equitable principles as the Trustees of a Trust are cloaked in a veil of equitable rights in dealing, managing administering the property of the Trust. Many law firms in Cyprus make abundant use of the principles of equity where the shortcomings of the statute legislation would cause injustice. A classic example of equity justice is the doctrine of estoppel.
C. Statute Law
However, the great bulk of law is nowadays made up of a prestigious Legislation, in the so called statutes enacted by Parliament in their vole as Law makers. Regulations are also enacted in the form of subsidiary legislation. Their role is to construe the provisions of the statutes and create a set of rules of how these statutory provisions are to be exercised in real life. So if a statute enacts that the police can arrest a person for a crime, the subsidiary legislation provides how he is arrested, the circumstances of his holding, the way to be interrogated etc. Cyprus statute law, because of its British descent, is one of the most comprehensive and concise set of laws in Europe. Cyprus law also has gradually come to accept that court decisions on a mood point and mainly the “ratio decidendi” of the decision, bind the same Court or inferior Court, but not on superior courts. They are called precedents.
Cyprus Law – Cyprus Legal System:The Court System in Cyprus
The legal principles laws regulations Equity Common Law, statute Law, are all put into effect by the Cyprus Courts. In Cyprus the Courts are organized in two jurisdictions the lower or District Courts and the Supreme Court. The District Courts are organized in Civil Law Courts, Family Law Courts, Military District Courts, Labor Law Courts and the Criminal Courts. All Cyprus Lawyers and Cyprus Law Firms have the right to appear and be heard before the District Courts. The Supreme Court hears appeals from all of them, as well as constitutional matters. A Lawyer in Cyprus must have had at least 5 years practicing as an active lawyer before he can appear before the Supreme Court of Cyprus. So in Cyprus the law is profound, and the administration of justice is independent, objective and unconscionable. If you need any advice on any legal problem you may have in Cyprus our expert lawyers will be glad to advise you.