News Local Cyprus needs a detailed and enforceable Code of Conduct for the judiciary,...

Cyprus needs a detailed and enforceable Code of Conduct for the judiciary, GRECO says

The Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) stressed on Friday the need for Cyprus to adopt a detailed and enforceable Code of Conduct for the judiciary.

Speaking during a press conference, after the conclusion of the meetings which a high ranking delegation of GRECO had on the island, in the framework of the fourth evaluation round of Cyprus, GRECO Chairman Marin Mrcela said that that they were presented with the Judicial Conduct Guide introduced recently by the Supreme Court, they had not time to look at it in detail but  they will, stressing at the same time that GRECO is looking for a detailed enforceable code, not a general statement of principles.

Mrcela recalled that GRECO issued 16 recommendations during the fourth evaluation round for Cyprus and that four of them are related to the judiciary. Regrettably so far those four recommendations are not fully implemented, they are partially implemented. What we are seeing now, here, and what we wanted to see is the progress in complying with those recommendations, he noted.

He reiterated that the GRECO recommendations are not optional and urged the Cypriot authorities to do their utmost to speedly implement the recommendations. “This is even more important in light of the recent developments which call for action as soon as possible and this is important not only for complying with the GRECO recommendations but most importantly for the image of the judiciary in Cyprus,” he noted.

Responding to questions, Mrcela said that Cyprus has implemented so far two out of the GRECO 16 recommendatons, which is looking forward to the implementation of the other 14. He stressed that he sees no reason for which Cyprus will not implement them and sees no reluctance by the Cypriot authorities to do so.

He stressed that the judiciary should not only be independent and impartial but also be seen as such. “Standards of the independence and the impartiality of the judiciary do not exist because of the judges but because of the citizens. Judges are there to deliver justice and protect citizens’ rights and freedoms. Therefore in the eyes of the citizens, judges must be seen as independent and impartial. This is about credibility, trust and confidence,” Mrcela noted.

He said that the first recommendation concerns  the composition of the Supreme Council of Judicature, adding that the recommendation says it should be reviewed so as not to fully coincide with the composition of the Supreme Court, but to have a broader representation of the judges in order to avoid the perception of self-interest, self-protection and cronyism. “We understand that the reform is underway. We were presented with the results so far achieved and we will assess that and then the plenary will reach a decision about the compliance with that,” he added.

As regards the second recommendation he said that the appointment of judges should be guided by precise and objective criteria, which are to be checked before appointment or promotions and are to be made available to the public. The key word about this is transparency, he noted.

The third recommendation, he added, is about a detailed and enforceable Code of Conduct for the judiciary. This is to be done on the basis of broad involvement of various members of the judiciary in order to manifest and develop standards that are commonly agreed by the judiciary as a whole, he noted.

Mrcela said that during their meetings they  were presented with the Judicial Conduct Guide introduced in Cyprus, adding that they did not have the time to look at it in detail but they will. “However, GRECO is looking for a detailed enforceable code, not a general statement of principles,” he stressed.

As regards the fourth recommendation, he said that it is about the training of judges, noting that without training there is no success.

“We were presented with reports on all ongoing training that is already there. From that point of view it looks for now that this is going in an excellent direction and we are looking forward to the further results in that,” he said.

Mrcela noted that they received a lot of information during their meetings with the Cypriot authorities. “We need to receive additional information with documents of course and then we will assess that. And I hope that it will be soon. We are hoping in June, having in mind the particularity of the situation, although the deadline is in December,” he noted. He also sterssed that everybody shows awareness the necessity of the reform, both the judiciary and the executive.

The GRECO delegation who visited Cyprus comprised Mrcela, GRECO Executive Secretary Gianluca Esposito and member of the GRECO Secretariat Roman Chlapak.

(Cyprus News Agency)

Read more:

Top Stories

126 new cases, two deaths announced on Monday

The Health Ministry announced the death of two persons due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 188,...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Tuesday, 26 January

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Tuesday, 26 January 2021:   LIMASSOL Church of Panagia Chrysaifyliotissa, Agia Fyla 08:30-16:30 Church of Panagia Evangelistria,...

Cyprus government aims at gradual lifting of restrictive measures

The Cyprus government aims at the gradual lifting of restrictive measures against the spread of COVID-19 in the context of a concrete plan, with...

Shot flamingo found in Paralimni lake

Birdlife Cyprus announced that a flamingo was found wounded in the Lake of Paralimni. Members managed to save the bird and take it to a...

Epidemiologists agree to include colchicine in treatment protocol

The scientific team of the Health Ministry is ready to include colchicine in the treatment protocol to face COVID-19, Konstantinos Tsioutis, assistant professor of...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...