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‘Immediate measures need to be taken in justice system’

Attorney-General Costas Clerides
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Immediate measures need to be taken in the justice system, Attorney-general Costas Clerides said on Sunday in interviews with three papers.

Public confidence in the judiciary and its bodies will be restored when the necessary measures are taken to correct what is wrong now, but have also emerged in the past, he said in an interview with Alithia.

He said the recent public debate, which is still continuing, on the subject of justice has led to the disclosure of serious issues, which although they have been going on for a long time have not been taken seriously.

However, the high profile debate has led to measures starting to be taken, Clerides said, although how effective they are will be judged as time goes on.

Ten days ago the Attorney general complained that the Legal Services have been left out of discussions for judicial reform, which he said was “not a matter of intention or not exaggeration, but a fact”.

When speaking to Haravgi, he said it was essential the state’s legal adviser is involved in the reform of the judiciary

Asked about the Cyprus Bar Association’s response to questions levelled at Supreme Court judges being fair, Clerides said although the bar’s announcement clearly meant to keep some balance and avoid further tensions, “I do not agree with the finding that there is no question of the credibility of justice”.

However, speaking to Kathemerini he said there is a direct need to take corrective measures that strictly regulate the cases of exception of judges due to family relations and a possible conflict of interests.

Asked whether there is a case of excessive legal influence of some law firms due to close relationships between judges and lawyers, Clerides said “as confirmed by the recent events, and in particular the hearing of the two appeals concerning Bank of Cyprus, there’s a problem”.

Speaking to Haravgi, he said the post of Attorney general inevitably creates enemies, hatred and attacks. “That’s exactly what I think has happened in recent years,” he said.

Having served in the position of Attorney general for five and a half years, Clerides was asked if he would accept it now. “despite the fact that I finally see that the difficulties and costs are much greater than I expected when I accepted this position, I can not say that I have regretted. “

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