Cyprus Law | Supreme Court Rules Foreclosure Bill Unconstitutional

Cyprus Law | Supreme Court Rules Foreclosure Bill UnconstitutionalCyprus Law – Supreme Court Rules Foreclosure Bill Unconstitutional

Today the ROC Supreme Court has ruled that The Foreclosure Bill passed by the opposition parties is unconstitutional. The controversial Foreclosures Bill had threatened to derail the next tranche of bailout money from the Troika, as it violated the agreement and terms of the bailout.

That well known saying “The Law is an Ass” is very apt when reflecting on the legal system in the TRNC and ROC. I often wonder if the Advocates and Lawyers on the island truly studied law or is this not a necessary requirement because the law is interchangeable depending on who is before the court, which judge is residing and who is defending or prosecuting?

The debacle surrounding the Foreclosure Bill must have cost the taxpayer thousands of Euros in wasted legal fees, yet it has proved only one thing……….that a parliament full of Lawyers is incompetent. Weeks and weeks of sitting round the table to produce laws which are flawed, undemocratic and unconstitutional? Let’s hope that now the island’s commercial and cooperative banks, with more than 50% of their loan-book deemed as NPLs, will begin the process of dialogue with borrowers to recover assets, particularly from all those cash-rich businesses that have simply refused to pay back their loans. Thank you Troika this would never have been achieved without your input.

In my experience the ROC and TRNC have a habit of introducing laws which are woolly at best. Remember the introduction of registering one’s property? This law was supposedly aimed at preventing developer mortgages or memorandums being taken out on property that had been fully paid for. We have lots of evidence to suggest this didn’t happen and it appears that several years later, the question of whether memorandums take precedence over registration, has yet to be tested. Similarly what about those “legally binding” contracts signed by buyer, seller and the legal representative stating that no memorandums, liens or mortgages would be attached and the developer would hand over deeds upon completion? Not to mention the illegal but apparently acceptable occurrence of then being asked to pay the builders taxes or a lump sum of money when you sell because the developer still has your deeds. It’s blackmail by most people’s standards but is better known as business in Cyprus, aided and abetted by the very person you employed to safeguard your interests. Where else in Europe could the house you have fully paid for be auctioned to pay the debts of the developer?

Property problems though are not where we see the real rot, so ingrained in the justice system. As distressing as it is to lose your home and finances it can’t compare to the recent ROC cases of drivers mounting pavements, maiming children and causing the death of people through drink driving or running red lights. The culprits then receiving no more than a few points on their licences and a low financial penalty.

Cypriot laws allow certain members of society to do as they please, even if it is criminally and morally wrong. They are not, as in most countries, there to protect citizens but to keep cronyism alive and kicking and protect their own vested interests.

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