The Cyprus Bar Association is the professional body of lawyers with over 4300 members. Cyprus Bar Association was established under the Advocates Law Chapter 2 in 1960 and it has been operating since then.
All the necessary work of the Cyprus Bar Association, including administrative matters, was done voluntarily by the members of the Board and the President’s office. In 1992, the Board decided to employ a full time employee to do this work.
The Association did not used to have its own premises because its income was very low. There was an arrangement with the Advocates Pension Fund to use their own premises and we were under the same roof for years.
Eventually, we have managed to rent our own offices and employ three people whose duties are related to the smooth functioning of the Association. Gradually, the website of the Association was designed with all the necessary information for lawyers and clients. We have also issued identity cards (plastic) that lawyers can present in Courts or in any other Public Authority.
Over the years and due to legislative reforms the Council of the CBA was appointed as a Supervisory Authority in matters of Money Laundering and thus created the Supervisory Control Department which deals inter alia with onsite inspections.
The Association also provides free and non-profit access to Cypriot and international sources of law through its website “CyLaw”. For this purpose, the CBA hired staff who updates the site in a daily basis.
Last but not least, we organize seminars on European Law and other important matters, in order lawyers to be more informed on how European law works and keep them updated on recent updates.
One of our main goals is to provide the best possible service to our Lawyers in order to feel that our ourganization supports and helps them to every inquiry that they have.
According to Advocates Law, the Cyprus Bar Association, the Disciplinary Board and the Legal Council, constitute the bodies regulating the legal profession in Cyprus.
Local Bar Association comprise all lawyers practising the profession in each District. There are six Local Bar Associations one for each of the six Districts of Cyprus. Cyprus Bar Association is independant from the Local Bar Association as fas af the election of its president and the number of its members are concerned but also its competences. Cyprus Bar Association constitues the Union of the lawyers practising the legal profession in Cyprus.
The Cyprus Bar Council consists of:
The President, who is elected by the General Meeting of the Bar Association, taking place every three years.
The Chairmen of the District Bar Associations and one member from each District elected as representative to the Bar Council.
Four members elected by the General Meeting of the Bar Association.
The Attorney General is considered as the honor President of the Bar Council.
The introduction of Cyprus in European Union:
The accession of Cyprus to the European Union is one of the most important events in the history of our country. Our membership safeguards and guarantees a peaceful future for Cyprus within a safe and prosperous environment. Furthermore, it guaranteed the unity of the Europe and reinforces the stability, safety and the cooperation within the EU.
Our membership requires a continuous legislative reform for the harmonization with the European acquis and the protection of basic principles of the European Union as well as the protection of basic principles of human rights within the European law.
Lawyers have always been considered as the defenders of the human rights. Dealing with the constant violation of human rights by the Turkish Government, since Turkish invasion in 1974, Cyprus and its legal profession are specifically committed to promote and protect human rights within European Union.
Nevertheless, the above necessitate the exchange of views for stronger cooperation between the Member States and their legal systems but also the introduction of new laws and methods of enforcement.
As a result from the above, CBA is a member of:
International Bar Association
Common Wealth Lawyers Association
Councils and Bars of the European Union (CCBE)
Balkan Bar Association
The creation of a common competitive market the free movement and establishment of services within the European Union is one of the main principles in Europe.
Inevitably, this influence the Legal Profession in Cyprus and on one hand challenges it to upgrade the services of the Legal Profession and on the other hand it entails obligations to change attitude and adoption of new methods.
The new requirements demand high level of knowledge and continuous training and above all seriousness and responsibility on behalf of the lawyers in combination with the protection of the ethics and human rights.
The protection of interests and rights, both as between individuals themselves as well as between individuals and Governments is the basic principle of any legal system. The obligations to find ways of enforcing these interests and rights have been entrusted to members of the legal profession.
Cyprus has enacted harmonizing legislation to implement the directives of the European Union to facilitate practice of the profession of lawyer on a permanent basis in a member state other than that the qualification was obtained (Directive 98/5/EC) and to facilitate the effective exercise by lawyers of freedom to provide services (Directive 77/249/EEC).
The necessary qualification & specializations
The term “Practicing Law” (or “Practicing as an Advocate”) as defined in the Advocates Law includes:
Appearances before any Court to conduct any proceedings on behalf of any person.
The preparation or perusal of any document intended to be used in connection with any proceedings before any Court (pleadings).
The registration of Trade Marks and Patents and appearance before any authority for this purpose.
The preparation, revision and amendment of Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association and any document in connection with the incorporation, registration, reorganization or winding up of any company.
The registration of ships and the preparation of any document in relation to any right on a ship.
Giving legal opinions for reward.
The preparation and perusal of any document to be filed in Court in relation to the administration of the estate of a deceased.
Registration of Lawyers
Firstly you can register in Cyprus as a Trainee Advocate. Upon completion of 12 months training (pupilage) in a law office in Cyprus or the Attorney General’s office and once you pass the Legal Council’s exam for trainee lawyers you will then be able to be register as an advocate and practice law in Cyprus as long as the Legal Council is satisfied that the legal requirements under section 4 of the Advocates’ Law Cap.2 are fulfilled.
Each Lawyer practising law is enrolled in a book kept by the CBA Council called “Register of Practicing Advocated”.The Council of the Bar, at the request of any person whose name appears in the Register of Practising the Profession, issues annual license under the seal of the CBA.
Under our Advocate’s Law the first years of registration is free of charge whereas up to 10 years is 68EURO and above 10 years of practice is 171EURO. Moreover, the advocate shall ensure insurance coverage against liability for professional negligence under Article 6E of the Advocates Law.
Another requirement for lawyers in order to register as advocates is to pay every year their pension advocates fund an amount of 480EURO. For more information please visit www.apfcy.com
The examinations are conducted by the Legal Council on certain subjects including:
Civil and Criminal Procedure
Immovable Property Law
Wills and Succession Law
Courts of Justice Law/ Advocates Law
Further, the Amendment Law 180(I)/2002 has enabled to registered lawyers practicing in a Member State to provide services as a lawyer in another Member State. Under Article 14K of the Basic Law (Cap.2) the CBA retains an additional register in the Register of Lawyers Practising in which the above mentioned advocates are registered.
In Cyprus we do not have specializations and registered practicing lawyers can deal with any legal matter if they wish.
These recent developments are of great importance and we hope for more to be accomplished over the years to come.
LLC (Limited Liability Companies)
Whenever an incorporated company falls under Article 6C (1) of the Advocates Law, the Legal Council is empowered to approve the establishment of such company. All approved companies are sent to the CBA Council which is entitled to keep a special register with such companies.
In case of any changes of officers of the company lawyers are invited to send certificates of these changes in both the Legal Council and the CBA.