11 September 2020
ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE SUPREME COURT
The Supreme Court, in a recent review session, has decided to further revise the Guide to Judicial Conduct as to consolidate all relevant provisions as follows:
The Judicial Practice Direction of 11th of February 2019, which was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus No. 4120, Second Appendix, Part I, dated 15th of February 2019, No. 2, is hereby consolidated and forms an indispensable part of the Guide to Judicial Conduct as Part E and provides as follows:
COURT APPEARANCES BY MEMBERS OF THE “JUDGE’S FAMILY”
Judicial Practice Direction
dated 17th of March 1988, as amended by the Supreme Court’s decisions of 21.7.1989, 18.9.2003, 30.11.2006, 4.10.2011, 8.3.2018, 28.1.2019 and 11.2.2019
By virtue of the constitutional provisions for securing equality before Justice (Article 28.1) and in order to safeguard the impersonal character of the Courts in the exercise of their judicial functions and in view of the acquired experience from the hitherto application of this judicial practice direction, the Supreme Court, acting within its competences, issues the following amendment:
1. A judicial officeholder should not sit on a case either singly (single-judge bench) or as a member of a judicial panel exercising jurisdiction of any instance, in which a member of the “judge’s family” appears as an advocate as well as when the advocate before the Court is the employer of or an employee of or a partner in or a tenant in the same chamber, working under the same roof as the advocate in question.
2. (a) The term “judge’s family” for the purpose of this judicial practice direction includes parents, spouse, children, children’s spouses, siblings, siblings’ children and siblings’ spouses, as well as persons who have an in-law relationship with the judicial officeholder; parent-in-law son-in-law/daughter-in-law, brother-in-law/sister-in-law or a co-parent-in-law relationship as well as a relatedness of spiritual affinity.
(b) The term “judge’s spouse” includes the judge’s partner, regardless of gender or any other person who is in a close personal relationship with the judicial officeholder.
(c) The term “spiritual affinity” means the relationship between a godparent and a godchild. Any other relationship created by the holy sacrament of baptism is governed by the judicial recusal principles as laid down by the case law and the Guide to Judicial Conduct.
3. This judicial practice direction does not apply to cases before the Plenary of the Supreme Court or to court appearances of a typical character. The Plenary of the Supreme Court means the Full Bench of the Court, composed of at least seven of its members.
4. It is understood that this judicial practice direction bears no retrospective effect with regard to cases already pending before the Court for hearing continuance and/or judgment.
5. It is further understood that the term “chamber” does not include the Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus.