CRoLEV Newsletter 4 – July 2023

CRoLEV public engagement at the European level

European Commission’s Cyprus Rule of Law 2023 Report
On the 3rd of April 2023, CRoLEV Director Prof. Stéphanie Laulhé Shaelou was invited to take part in the Rule of Law 2023 targeted consultation’s virtual visit organised by the European Commission for targeted input from civil society stakeholders to the Cyprus Rule of Law 2023 Report. Discussions revolved around the current Rule of Law climate in the country, including improvements to the corruption framework and civil society participation and engagement. The 2023 Rule of Law Report was published by the European Commission on 5 July 2023 and is available here. The Cyprus Report, available here, cites CRoLEV’s contributions at the various stages of the process as sources.

EU Fundamental Rights Agency Director’s visit to Cyprus
On the 11th of May 2023, CRoLEV Director Prof. Stéphanie Laulhé Shaelou and CRoLEV Senior Researcher Dr Katerina Kalaitzaki had the honour and opportunity to participate in a roundtable with EU Fundamental Rights Agency Director Mr Michael O’Flaherty during his visit to Cyprus. Our team discussed and exchanged ideas with the Director and the participants on promoting Civil Society engagement and the Rule of Law. The roundtable discussion touched on a series of issues such as the current climate of human rights protection and the operation of CSOs in Cyprus, the level of awareness of human rights protection among the general public in Cyprus, and the level of awareness of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights among lawyers in Cyprus and how to tackle lack of engagement.

Public consultation with the European Commission
In April 2023, CRoLEV Director Prof. Stéphanie Laulhé Shaelou and and CRoLEV post-doctoral Fellow Dr Alexandra M. Uibariu contributed to a European Commission’s public consultation on the ‘Defence of Democracy’ package. The package acknowledges the risks posed by covert interference to democracy in the EU and its member states, its potential to undermine the rule of law, and aims to enhance member states’ measures on upholding transparency and accountability in interest representation services. As such, the consultation sought to collect data from relevant stakeholders, including citizens, non-governmental organisations, and academic and research institutions, for the purposes of identifying and documenting specific problems addressed by the initiative. The results of the consultation will be published in the second quarter of 2023. In the meantime, for more information, click here.

CRoLEV Knowledge Transfer activities
2nd CRoLEV Interdisciplinary Research Workshop and Summer School on ‘Threats to Democratic Values’
On the 15th and 16th of June, CRoLEV organised the 2nd Interdisciplinary Research Workshops and a Summer School on ‘Threats to Democratic Values’. Both events gathered advanced students, legal professionals, experts in the field of the rule of law and various stakeholders. The events took place in hybrid format, with participants on campus and online via MS Teams. A series of lectures, workshops, and roundtable discussions took place within the framework of those events, also powered by industry partners. Indicatively, Ms Branka van der Linden, Secretary of the Board, Cyprus Integrity Forum delivered a Lecture entitled ‘Elephant in the Room – Addressing Legal profession contribution to Sustainable Development through Integrity and Transparency, core values of Cyprus Integrity Forum’. While Mr Petros Florides, Independent Non-Executive Chairman, NetU and Mr Ioannis Ioannides, Non-Executive Director, NetU moderated a fascinating roundtable discussion on ‘Digital opportunities and threats to Democratic values’. The Summer School concluded with a session powered by the Larnaca Bar Association on ‘Gender Pay Gap in the Legal Profession in Cyprus’. For more information on the various sessions, please see the Press Release, available here.
More information on these events, including videos, will become available on the CRoLEV website. Stay tuned!

Intensive Course and Other Events
Our website has been updated to include materials from our latest intensive courses and other activities. Click here to access them! That includes materials from a course delivered by CRoLEV Chief Researcher Dr Andreas Marcou and CRoLEV post-doctoral Fellow Dr Alexandra M. Uibariu to the University of Krakow, Poland on ‘The Rule of Law and other European Values in the modern age: Democracy in Europe in Times of Emergency’; a course delivered by CRoLEV invited external expert Dr Elena Basheska on ‘The Rule of Law and other European Values in the modern age: Good neighbourliness in Europe in times of threats’; and another one delivered by CRoLEV invited internal experts Professor Janet Read and Dr Josephina Antoniou on ‘The Rule of Law and other European Values in the modern age: Principles and Values in the Digital World’.

CRoLEV participation at high-profile conferences and events
The Gender Pay Gap in the Legal Profession in Cyprus – CRoLEV participates in the ‘Women in Law Conference’, organised on 5th April 2023 by the Cyprus Bar Association

The first Women in Law conference was successfully held on the 5th of April 2023 by the Cyprus Bar Association, with support, inter alia, from UCLan Cyprus as an education partner, at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Larnaca. The aim of this Conference was the development of topics on the challenges faced by women in the legal profession in Cyprus. Distinguished and renowned speakers and guests from Cyprus and abroad attended the Conference. Among them were the President of the House of Representatives, Mrs Annita Dimitriou, the Minister of Justice and Public Order, Mrs Anna Koukkidis-Prokopiou, the President of the Cyprus Bar Association Dr Christos Cleridis and Rt Hon Lady Justice Nicola Davies who was the first Welsh woman to become a QC, the first female Presiding Judge of the Circuit in Wales and the first Welsh female Appeal Court judge.

Among the speakers of the Conference was CRoLEV Director Prof. Stéphanie Laulhé Shaelou, who presented the newly conducted research by CRoLEV on the gender pay gap in the legal profession in Cyprus, upon the kind invitation of the President of the Larnaca Bar Association, Mr Christakis Mouscos, as well as the Cyprus Bar Association. The presentation of the CRoLEV findings which Prof. Laulhé Shaelou presented also on behalf of CRoLEV post-doctoral Fellow Dr Alexandra M. Uibariu can be viewed here,  and the full report of the study, together with the slides used, here.

UCLan Cyprus and CRoLEV would like to thank all those involved in the design, organisation, delivery, dissemination and actual attendance at the Women in Law Conference across multiple organisations and institutions. CRoLEV would also like to draw the readers’ attention to the follow-up event that took place in the context of the CRoLEV Summer School on the 16th of June 2023 and which can be viewed here.

CRoLEV Director Prof. Laulhé Shaelou represents the Cyprus branch of the International Federation of European Law (FIDE) and co-authors the Cyprus Report on the Rule of Law at the XXX FIDE Congress held in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 31st May to 3rd June 2023

The Bulgarian Association for European Law (BAEL – Българска асоциация за eвропейско право) presided over FIDE between November 2021 and May 2023 and organised the XXX  Congress in Sofia between 31 May and 3 June 2023. The topics, chosen taking into consideration their general interest, topicality, and relevance for the process of European integration, included Topic I – ‘Mutual Trust, Mutual Recognition and the Rule of Law’ with General Rapporteur Prof. Miguel Poiares Maduro and Institutional Rapporteurs from the European Commission’s legal services. The Congress was attended by around 600 delegates from all over the world including judges at the European and national level, EU institutions and agencies, governmental representatives, academics and researchers. The representatives of all the FIDE national branches also held their steering committee meeting to which Prof. Laulhé Shaelou participated.
The ‘Cyprus Report on the Rule of Law’ (FIDE XXX Congress Proceedings, 2023) can be found here.

Conference on ‘The independent authority against corruption legislation, practice, and challenges’
On 31st of May 2023, CRoLEV attended a conference organised by the Cyprus Bar Association on ‘The independent authority against corruption legislation, practice, and challenges’. The conference touched on various issues related to the rule of law and other values, including the basic provisions for the establishment and operation of the Independent Authority against Corruption, the legal framework for whistleblowers, and the concept of corruption within the jurisprudence (using data from international studies). It is worth noting that the President of the Republic of Cyprus stated at the Conference that the current government will take the appropriate measures to tackle the issue of corruption in Cyprus.

CRoLEV Director Prof. Laulhé Shaelou invited to the launch of the Academy at the Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus on 20th June 2023
The establishment and operation of the Academy of the Republic of Cyprus Law Office were officially announced in Nicosia with an inaugural conference on the concept of public interest in Cypriot Law. Prof. Laulhé Shaelou was invited to support this important initiative upholding the Rule of Law in the Republic of Cyprus via the reinforcement of its institutions, and communicated to H.E. The Attorney-General of the Republic, Mr. George Savvides, the University’s and CRoLEV’s full support to the Academy.
For more information, you may read here.

Social Mediation Upholding the Rule of Law in Cyprus (SOMEROL) project supported by CRoLEV
The Social Mediation and the Strengthening of Rule of Law in Cyprus (SOMEROL) project is undertaken by the University of Central Lancashire in Cyprus (UCLan Cyprus), the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law Alternative and Innovative Methods (ICLAIM), and the Cyprus Peace and Dialogue Centre (CPDC). The project builds on previous Social Mediation projects that have taken place in Cyprus and online from 2018 to 2022. The aim of the project was to enhance the delivery of capacity-building activities on Social Mediation, with a particular focus on strengthening the Rule of Law in Cyprus, on either side of the UN-administered Buffer Zone. The project employed previous findings, especially regarding divided societies, which raise challenging theoretical and practical questions in terms of conflict prevention, management, and resolution. In addition, by turning the focus on the Rule of Law principle, the SOMEROL project dealt with issues of transparency, corruption, media freedom, and counter-information, as relevant, from policy, industry, civil society, and educational perspectives, in an inter-communal context. The SOMEROL project benefited from the expertise of CRoLEV.  A Rule of Law expert of CRoLEV was present at all events, in the person of its Director, Prof. Stéphanie Laulhé Shaelou, Professor of European Law and Reform and Head of the School of Law at UCLan Cyprus. Prof. Laulhé Shaelou is also a Founding Director of ICLAIM.
For a full report on the CRoLEV involvement in the SOMEROL Final Conference, click here. Please also view the SOMEROL project’s video.

Disclaimer: Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

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