University graduates holding a law degree and registered lawyers in Cyprus may be appointed as judges if they have practised as lawyers for six years and are successful in an oral examination before the judges of the Supreme Court of Cyprus. The entry-level grade is that of district judge in the district courts of the various districts, rising to senior district judge, president of a district court, and Supreme Court judge. Judges in family courts, industrial disputes courts, rent control courts and military courts form a special category to which they are appointed under a regime and career path which is similar to district judges but ends at the grade of president of those courts.
Supreme Court judges and the President of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President of the Republic under the power conferred on him by the Constitution. Before an appointment, and in accordance with established practice, the President of the Republic receives the recommendations of the Supreme Court. Supreme Court judges are generally chosen among the presidents of the district courts. A Supreme Court judge can also be someone from outside the judicial profession who has practised as a lawyer for 15 years and who has the highest moral standards.
Under the Cypriot Constitution, the Supreme Court constitutes the Supreme Judicial Council which has exclusive competence for appointing, promoting, transferring, disciplining, terminating the service of judges and dismissing them.
Today there are 96 judges in Cyprus, including the 13 Supreme Court judges. All judges in courts of first instance may serve until their 63rd birthday, while Supreme Court judges (including the President) may serve until their 68th birthday.
They are independent state officials and are appointed by the President of the Republic on the basis of the Constitution. They are persons who qualify for appointment as Supreme Court judges. The Attorney-General is the head of the Law Office of the Republic and the Deputy Attorney-General is deputy head. The Law Office of the Republic is an independent office which is not attached to any ministry. The Attorney-General, aided by the Deputy Attorney-General, is the legal adviser of the Republic, the President of the Republic, the Council of Ministers and the Ministers and has the power to institute, conduct, take over and continue or discontinue any proceedings or to order the prosecution of any person in the Republic for any offence. Such power is exercised either by him in person or by officers subordinate to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Republic (Law Office) acting under and in accordance with his instructions. (See below: the Police can also conduct criminal proceedings). Law Office officers are registered lawyers who are governed by the 1990 Civil Service Act (Act 1/890) which regulates their employment, status, advancement and duties.
They are university graduates holding a law degree and registered lawyers who are appointed and serve in the Cypriot Police Force which they represent before the courts as public prosecutors in criminal matters, i.e. matters in which the Police can initiate criminal proceedings. Police prosecutors are taken on in all the Police Force’s prosecution units following a written and oral examination and their status is governed by the 2004 Police Act (Act 73(I)/2004). The Police's conduct of criminal proceedings and handling of criminal cases before the courts is subject to the control and guidance of the Attorney-General of the Republic.
They are university graduates holding a law degree recognised by the Legal Council on the basis of the Lawyers Act (Chapter 2). They are registered as lawyers after completing a period of employment of 12 months and passing a written examination. They are organised into local bar associations with a seat in each district court, but they are also all members of the Cyprus Bar Association. Their admission and registration as lawyers, the exercise of the profession, discipline, the pensions and the allowances they receive are governed by Chapter 2 of the Lawyers Act (as amended) and by the regulations issued pursuant to the above Act and to the Administration of Justice Act of 1964. Initially they may appear and defend cases before the district courts (including the family courts, the labour disputes courts, the rent control courts and the military courts) and then, depending on how long they have been in practice, before the president of a district court, the Assize Court and the Supreme Court.
Act 180(Ι)/2002, which amends the Lawyers Act for purposes of harmonisation with European Directive 98/05/ΕC to facilitate practice of the profession of lawyer on a permanent basis in a Member State other than that in which the qualification was obtained, which entered into force when Cyprus joined the European Union on 1 May 2004, provides that lawyers who are nationals of an EU Member State may practise on a permanent basis in Cyprus, in either a self-employed or a salaried capacity. Before starting to practise in Cyprus, lawyers must produce their professional qualification from the Member State where they were awarded it. In Cyprus they must be entered in a special section of the register of lawyers practising the profession. To be entered in this register, lawyers are required by the Legal Council to submit the following documents:
The professional qualification must be drawn up clearly in the language or one of the official languages of the country of origin.
Lawyers whose application for registration is accepted by the Legal Council are subject to the same obligations and have the same rights as Cypriot lawyers. However, they may only enjoy the same status as Cypriot lawyers and integrate fully into the legal profession in Cyprus after having genuinely and regularly practised the professional activity in Cyprus in the area of Cypriot law and Community law for a period of three years.
During these three years, for the purpose of representing and defending clients before the courts, lawyers must act in conjunction with lawyers exercising the profession of lawyer in Cyprus who are eligible to act before the courts ruling on the case in question. Lawyers may also practise in Cyprus on the strength of their original professional qualification, collaboratively, (a) in the same way as the profession is exercised collaboratively by Cypriot lawyers with (i) a Cypriot lawyer (ii) a lawyer who is a national of a Member State exercising the profession of lawyer in Cyprus, and (b) with a lawyer who is a national of a Member State exercising the profession of lawyer on a permanent basis in that state and holding a professional qualification from that state.Top
Last update: 30-11-2006