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Reply from the CCJE member representing Cyprus, 2 December 2013

Subject: Situation report about the status and situation of judges in the member States
Dear Chairman, members of the Bureau and colleaques,
Dear Secretariat,

Following the situation report on the judiciary and judges in the Council of Europe members, circulated during the plenary meeting last November, I would like to inform you by way of an update report, in accordance with the last paragraph of the Conclusions,  that following the Supreme Court judgment of 14.6.2013, a private member’s Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives soon after to amend the constitutional provision entrenching the independence of the judiciary by securing that the remuneration of judges shall not be altered to their disadvantage after appointment.

To this the Supreme Court reacted promptly by written and oral communication to the President of the Republic as head of the executive and the House itself reiterating the essence of the independence of the judiciary and that judges were all along ready to voluntarily contribute to the economic crisis by accepting a reduction to their salaries without any need to amend the Constitution. They also accepted that they would not insist in recovering that part of their salary that was cut off as a result of the legislation that was subsequently declared null and void. There was finally a consensus and all judges at all levels accepted a voluntary cut of 20%. The constitutional crisis was therefore averted and the principle of independence prevailed. All the above were finalized by end of September.

Best regards,
Stelios Nathanael,
Cyprus.