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Cyprus

ECHR upholds case involving Cyprus Airways

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday upheld an appeal filed against Cyprus by a former trainee pilot of the now defunct national carrier Cyprus Airways for impartial legal proceedings on his dismissal 20 years ago.

The applicant, Charalambos Nicholas filed a case against Cyprus Airways in 1998 for unlawful dismissal and defamation. The case was dismissed both by the District Court in 2006 and the Supreme Court in 2010.

Nicholas, relying on Article 6.1 – right to a fair hearing – of the European Convention on Human Rights, launched a complaint with the ECHR that the Supreme Court which had examined the appeal proceedings had not been impartial. He complained to the ECHR that he had subsequently discovered that the son of one of the judges who had decided on his case before the Supreme Court had been married to the daughter of the managing partner of the law firm representing the airline and that the couple had both worked at this law firm.

The ECHR said that that it holds that there has been a violation of Article 6.1 of the Convention. Nicholas was not awarded any compensation as he did not submit a claim for just satisfaction.

The court said that the ‘in-law’ tie between one of the judges and the managing partner of the law firm representing the air carrier, sufficed to objectively justify the applicant’s fears as to the judge’s impartiality.

Nicholas told the Cyprus News Agency he feels justified by this decision and that he did not claim compensation as he had represented himself without a lawyer. He expressed his intention however, to launch again legal proceedings in Cypriot courts.

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