TRNC Bar Association believes Advocates lie about qualifications

After reading in Cyprus Today that Mr. Hasan Sozmener Chairman of the TRNC Bar Association, who allegedly last year openly admitted to doubts that some of the practising Advocates in the TRNC have some of the qualifications they lay claim to, I can only assume he intends to do something about it. If not, why bring it to our attention.

The first and obvious step would be to issue a directive to all his members to produce documentary evidence of their qualifications. I am not talking of the Diploma hanging on the wall. I am suggesting that each member obtains a recent letter from the University they claim to have qualified at, if they fail to do so, Mr. Sozmener could apply to the University for confirmation. I know at first the University will throw the ‘Data Protection Act’ at him, but I do know that under the ‘Freedom of Information Act’, because it is in the public interest, they will be forced to give this information. This applies to all who qualified, or claim to have qualified in the UK. I am sure there will be fewer obstacles if the qualifications claimed are from Turkish or other Universities. In the case of some of the older members, he would have to obtain their previous pre ’74 names first.

Whilst on this subject, I also think it incumbent on Mr Sozmener to force those who are claiming bogus memberships on their websites to discontinue this practise immediately. The reputation of all Advocates is being sullied by this shoddy practise. Mr Sozmener has only to apply to the Bar Associations in the countries where membership is claimed to find out if the claims are false. The ISO9001 memberships are also as easily checked, production of the relevant certificates by it’s claimant, is not enough. Anyone can obtain a ‘hooky’ certificate.

Now, with regard to members of the public complaining about poor service, no service, conflicts of interest and so on. Is Mr. Sozmener aware that some people are just too frightened to complain, that their fear of reprisal is greater than their need to see the ‘right thing’ being done?

Is he also aware that confidence in the legal system is at such a low ebb that people just do not believe in fair play. Of course, it has been nigh on impossible to get one Advocate to act against another, could that be because they are aware of each other’s grubby little secrets? That is a question and not an accusation.

The law is supposed to protect all, most especially the old and the weak, yet daily we are seeing examples where the law ‘seems’ to side with the wrongdoer.

Mr Sozmener, you have your work cut out for you. However, by publicly acknowledging even some of the problems, you have taken a step in the right direction. Now, let us see you take that next and very positive step.

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