The establishment and operation of the Academy of the Republic of Cyprus Law Office was officially announced on Tuesday in Nicosia with an inaugural conference on the concept of public interest in Cypriot Law.
President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulides, attended the opening of the conference where the establishment of the Academy was announced. Present were also Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Commissioners, Members of Parliament, Permanent Secretaries of Ministries, Judges, the Police Chief, representatives of political parties, of the business world, of Cypriot universities, lawyers and officials of the Law Office.
In his address at the conference on the topic “The Concept of the Public Interest in Cypriot Law and Beyond,” President Christodoulides stated that the public interest is defined and determined based on the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus and the existing laws, as well as those derived from the European Convention on Human Rights, which is binding on the member states of the Council of Europe, of which the Republic of Cyprus is a member.
Such conferences of this nature and scope, he noted, contribute to substantive public dialogue on issues that concern citizens, adding that the concept of the public interest is encountered in all areas of law.
President Christodoulides further congratulated the Attorney General of the Republic, George Savvides, and the Deputy Attorney General, Savvas Angelides, for their initiative to establish the Academy of the Legal Service, which falls within the multifaceted reforms introduced since they assumed their duties in 2020, with the aim of modernizing the structure, organization, and functioning of the Legal Service of the Republic.
In her remarks, House President Annita Demetriou said the public interest should only express the best interests of society as a whole and the people themselves, ‘whom it is always legitimately mandated to serve’.
She told the inaugural conference of the Academy of the Legal Service Department that while it is a legally functional concept specified by legal rules, it often aligns with the immediate interests of the organised society within a state. The invocation of the public interest, she stated, whether by the legislator or the executive authority, cannot be arbitrary or abusive, as it is subject to guarantees and in correlation with the principles of proportionality, good governance, and soundly balanced decision-making, which are inherently embedded in our Constitution.
Referring to the establishment of the Academy, she said it is “an exceptional initiative that falls within broader efforts to modernise the service”.
In his address, President of the Supreme Court Antonis R. Liatsos said the events that constitute and define the public interest must be determined and specified to protect the individual interests of those affected and, consequently, to ensure judicial control.
The Supreme Court President added transparency is also required for the public interest to emerge. Liatsos added that only then does the concept of the public interest acquire ‘practical, tangible significance’.
Referring to the establishment of the Academy, he said that it will aptly contribute to the upgrading of the institutional role of the Legal Service while the training of public sector officials on matters handled by the Legal Service, allows for a better understanding of the subject and for the more effective functioning of the state sector in particularly sensitive and significant issues for our country.
Attorney General George Savvides, said in his speech that, recognising the importance of lifelong education and training of law officials, both on legal and other matters, the establishment of a statutory body within the Law Office to undertake this task was among the priorities himself and the Deputy Attorney General set upon assuming their duties.
The newly established Academy, along with a series of other reforms, he added, reflect their vision, which is gradually taking shape, and which is none other than the modernisation and continuous upgrading of the prestige and credibility of the Law Office, for effective administration of Justice as well as serving public interest.
European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, in a video message, welcomed the decision of the Law Office to establish an Academy, noting that the European Commission attaches great importance to judicial training. He noted that such training was essential for equipping legal practitioners with the appropriate skills and knowledge, and for them to be up-to-date with regard to national and European law and to help meet the challenges of the digitalisation of Justice. Also, the Commissioner said that the rule of law is the bedrock of European democracies and the core value of the EU.
Source: Cyprus News Agency