The Cypriot Constitution under the Impact of EU law: An Asymmetrical Formation

Laulhe-Shaelou, Stephanie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3221-5116 (2019) The Cypriot Constitution under the Impact of EU law: An Asymmetrical Formation. In: National constitutions in European and global governance: democracy, rights and the rule of law. T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague, pp. 1373-1432. ISBN 978-94-6265-272-9

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The Constitution of Cyprus (1960) is described in the report as unique and as a hybrid model. On the one hand, it has been seen as one of the world’s most rigid and detailed constitutions; on the other hand, some parts are governed by the
doctrine of necessity, given the division of the country. Special features include a strong protection of social rights and of the right to property; the protection granted to these and some other rights goes beyond the protection afforded by the ECHR.
Cyprus has a mixed model of constitutional review. Fundamental rights based review is strong, with provisions interpreted in favour of the individual in cases of doubt. Resorting to constitutional amendments has become a tool for addressing
issues related with the idiosyncrasies of the Cypriot Constitution. The use of this approach has become more frequent in the last two decades, whereas there had been a persistent refusal to amend the Constitution in the previous years. With regard to EU law, the Constitution has been amended to remove conflicts, including by virtue of Art. 1A, modelled loosely on the blanket EU clause of the Irish Constitution. At times, the amendments have even proved to be excessive, e.g. as regards an
amendment pertaining to the EU Data Retention Directive that was subsequently annulled. The Constitution has also been amended to remove barriers to the European Arrest Warrant, alas in an incomplete way, at least initially; in parallel, the initially rights-protective approach of Cypriot courts has gradually been watered down. The cases regarding EU sugar stocks measures raised issues regarding the principles of legitimate expectations and non-retroactivity of charges. The report
raises the issue of a lack of debate about constitutional limits to EU law. It highlights the merits of a dissenting judicial opinion in the so-called ‘bail-in’ case that cautioned against elimination of the rule of law and judicial protection.


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The Cypriot Constitution under the Impact of EU law: An Asymmetrical Formation
C. Kombos and S. Laulhé Shaelou

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