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Orams Ruling: “British Justice Fails the Orams” – ATCA

Below is a joint statement from ATCA in the UK, USA, Australia and TRNC about the British Court of Appeal ruling on the case between Meletios Apostilides and David & Linda Orams.

The true standards of the EU were once more highlighted by the decision of the British Court of Appeal (High Court) to find entirely in favour of the plaintiff Meletios Apostilides. Double standard is an understatement but no longer a surprise to Turkish Cypriots.

In effect, the Cyprus problem has been solved. The Greek Cypriots will no longer have to wait and seek recourse for remedy through politicians. They will simply take legal action against their counterpart and claim for their losses through the “appropriate judicial system”. This action simply extinguishes the need for an overall settlement and allows the floodgates to be open for litigation and ultimate recompense.

A verdict which is substantially flawed by the presence of a Greek judge heading the ECJ panel makes a mockery of the Law and the very essence of its core principles – equity and impartiality.

The ruling is ignorant of the historic occurrences of Cyprus, the realities of the island at present, and the need to remedy the property disputes of both Turkish and Greek Cypriots through a negotiated and comprehensive settlement. The Orams case ruling is legally absurd, because according to the ruling, up to 1 million people (in North and South Cyprus) are now regarded by EU Law as “trespassers”. In fact, every tourist landing at Larnaca Airport in South Cyprus may be regarded as “trespassers” because the airport was built on Turkish Cypriot land.

Turkish Cypriots also continue to seek legal redress but not one case has reached an equal level. This provides no incentive but equally the property issues on both sides of the divide should firmly remain in the hands of politicians and not lawyers or judges who in general do not know enough about the Cyprus problem.

Britain’s Guarantor status remains undeniably dormant once more as the British Expatriate community and indeed British Turkish Cypriots will start wondering when they will next be issued a writ and attend their own hearing.

This verdict has given no consideration to the public relations in the UK between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. It will no doubt blight the negotiation process further and ultimately divide the island – permanently!

As a Guarantor power, the British Government should have advised the court that accepting the ECJ ruling, at such a critical time, would have been wrong. Compensation can only come about after a permanent solution has been achieved not through interim legal recourse. Once again, thanks to the “good old reliable” British legal system, we can always count on it for real justice!

ATCA would like to extend its support to David & Linda Orams who have courageously fought this case throughout. ATCA will continue to support them and others in their fight for justice.

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