Date: 24 January 2013
Venue: The Hellenic Centre,16-18 Paddington St, Marylebone, London W1U 5AS
Dr Van Coufoudakis
Rector Emeritus at University of Nicosia, Cyprus; Dean Emeritus of College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Dr Klearchos Kyriakides
Senior lecturer and a non-practising solicitor, School of Law, University of Hertfordshire, England
The seminar will be chaired by Costas Frangeskides, deputy co-ordinator of Lobby for Cyprus and partner in City law firm Holman Fenwick Willan, specialising in international litigation and dispute resolution
The Republic of Cyprus continues to be de facto partitioned and its northern area remains under the occupation of Turkey, in violation of international law. The displaced persons and refugees continue to be excluded from their homes and properties. Contrary to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, the occupied area continues to be inhabited by many citizens of Turkey. Meanwhile, the population of the Republic of Cyprus has changed dramatically since the accession of the Republic to the European Union in 2004. So much so that, according to a recent census, more than 20% of the population of the unoccupied area of the Republic of Cyprus consists of migrants (such as those from other parts of the European Union), refugees (including those from the trouble spots of the ‘Arab uprisings’, such as Syria) and others who are non-Cypriots.
For the past few years, the United Nations and the various parties have been striving in secret to negotiate a settlement of the ‘Cyprus question’ via the transformation of the Republic of Cyprus into a ‘bizonal, bicommunal federation consisting of two politically equal communities’.
Bearing in mind the status of the Republic of Cyprus as a full member of the European Union and the Council of Europe, various procedural and substantive questions arise. This seminar will consider these questions:
- Is it legally or ethically appropriate for the ‘peace process’ to take place in secret, in the absence of any representation by the refugees and displaced persons?
- Is the stated objective of the ‘peace process’ compatible with fundamental European norms and values, notably the rule of law, the prohibition against discrimination and the principles of equality, diversity and pluralism? More particularly, is it possible to maintain a ‘Greek Cypriot Constituent State’ and a ‘Turkish Cypriot Constituent State’ without subjecting non-Greeks and non-Turks respectively to direct or indirect discrimination on racial or religious grounds?
- Could the legality of any ‘peace settlement’ along the lines envisaged by the UN be challenged in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Cyprus, the Court of Justice of the European Union or the European Court of Human Rights?
The Hellenic Centre:
Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political organisation with the aim of reuniting Cyprus