Supreme Court reports lawyer to AG over judicial corruption allegations

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Supreme Court Cyprus
Supreme Court Cyprus

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reported lawyer and former ECHR judge Loukis Loukaides to the attorney-general over claims he made that the judiciary was corrupt.

In a statement, the island’s top court said Loukaides’ claims of corruption within the judicial body were unsubstantiated, adding that he had had never raised such issues before.

It called on the attorney-general to consider whether Loukaides’ claims could be substantiated and look into whether criminal and/or professional misconduct offences had been committed if the lawyer could not prove his allegations.

The court said that “since the foundation of the Republic there has not been a single case of corruption in the judiciary and that the honesty and integrity of the court are guarded like the crown jewels.”

“This is why, the Supreme Court, as the highest court, receives and examines any complaint about alleged misconduct by any judge, adding it was obvious that in cases of documented corruption or other misconduct, they would not hesitate to dismiss any judge from the judiciary,” the statement concluded.

Loukaides said the court’s decision to report him was frivolous, adding that his claims were fully documented.

In a speech he made last week at a conference on ‘The problems of Cypriot justice,’ Loukaides had presented specific cases along with their numbers, which proved his position, he said.

He said he had even urged the Supreme Court to study them, adding he had more information about these cases, which he was ready to hand over if and when it was requested.

Loukaides had claimed that corruption had crept into the island’s justice system, negatively affecting the quality of court decisions, even those issued at the highest levels of the system.

“The decline of Cypriot justice is also due to the decline in values and principles and proper dispensation of justice, which have been bent in recent years and have been displaced by corruption, part of which seems to have already touched the judicial family,” he said.

Loukaides said it was widely accepted that applied judicial justice was going through a crisis in the past decade and that its performance was largely inadequate, adding the judiciary was lacking knowledge, impartiality, and self-awareness.

“These problems stem from the fact that judges are appointed without strict tests of their knowledge, experience, and personality,” he said.

Most of the legal minds in Cyprus were trained in Greece, whose system may be exceptional, but unrelated to what is in force in Cyprus, where English Common Law covers a substantive part.

“The unavoidable outcome is a drop in the quality of court decisions,” he said. “The lack of criticism, and in general the lack of judge accountability certainly has an adverse effect on the quality of the judicial mission.”

PHILIP MARK
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