International Courts and International Arbitration Courts and Tribunals

The International Law Section deals with legal questions concerning the possibility of the Republic of Cyprus in taking legal action in international fora, such as International Courts (the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)) and other International Arbitration Courts and Tribunals, where States can submit a dispute either on the basis of general international law principles or on the basis of international treaties which provide for a mandatory dispute resolution procedure between the parties. The Section is further responsible to prepare and coordinate the Republic of Cyprus representation where the Republic is a party to proceedings before international courts and tribunals, through the Attorney General of the Republic of Cyprus, who is the Agent of the Republic.

International Courts

The Republic of Cyprus, by a written Declaration dated 3 September 2002, recognised the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice at The Hague, pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 36 of the Statute of the Court, in relation to any other State accepting the same obligation, over any legal dispute concerning the interpretation of any treaty, any question of international law, any breach of international obligations and the relevant reparation to be made for such a breach.

The Republic of Cyprus has twice participated in cases before the International Court of Justice, as an interested party, the first time in the proceedings for the Advisory Opinion on the Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in respect of Kosovo (22 July 2010), and the second in the proceedings for the Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 (15 February 2019). The International Law Section was responsible for the preparation and representation of the Republic of Cyprus in both procedures.

The Section is further responsible for handling the settlement of an international dispute, to which the Republic of Cyprus is a party and which is amenable to specialised international courts on the basis of international agreements, such as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and others.

More specifically and in relation to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), pursuant to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the Section is actively involved and provides legal support to the representation of the Republic before the Committee of Ministers, which oversees the execution of the ECtHR judgments in the fourth inter-state case of Cyprus against Turkey, as well as in the individual applications against Turkey, which , inter alia, deal with violations of human rights as a result of the Turkish invasion and subsequent occupation, and in particular in relation to missing persons, the property rights of the displaced and the property rights of the enclaved. The Section further deals with legal issues which arise in the context of pending individual applications before the ECtHR against Turkey and undertakes, in this regard, the representation of the Republic where it actively participates in the proceedings, as an intervening party, under Article 36 of the ECHR.

Concerning the International Criminal Court, the International Law Section of the Law Office of the Republic, in cooperation with the Criminal Law Section of the Office, deals with legal issues regarding the Rome Statute, such as the establishment of international war crimes which were committed and/or continue to be committed by Turkey as a result of the military invasion and subsequent occupation of the northern part of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. It ought to be noted that the Republic of Cyprus is a State-party to the International Criminal Court, having ratified the Rome Statute by the Law 8(III)/2002.

Furthermore, the Section provides legal support to the Government in relation to the workings of the International Criminal Court, as well as in relation to any other legal questions that may arise concerning the Rome Statute and/or its amendments.

International Arbitration Courts and Tribunals

The Republic of Cyprus is bound by provisions of international treaties, to which it is a party, to refer disputes to international arbitration, either through established international arbitration courts and tribunals, as for example the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration or the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), or through other arbitration courts that are established ad hoc on the basis of agreements to be concluded between the parties. The International Law Section, in collaboration with other Sections of the Law Office, is responsible for the representation of the Republic of Cyprus in such proceedings before international arbitration courts and tribunals.

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