The Bar Association’s disciplinary board has failed in its mission, chairman Doros Ioannides conceded on Wednesday, as he urged parliament to look into changing the way it operated.
“The disciplinary board and ethics are also for the benefit of the citizens and not just us lawyers,” Ioannides told the House legal affairs committee. “I am the president for 15 years and I preside over the disciplinary board and I am telling you we have failed.”
Ioannides said the board has 2,000 cases pending before it.
His comments before the committee were made during discussion of an amendment to the law on lawyers, which modernises provisions and regulates the general meetings of district bar associations and the Pancyprian Bar Association.
Ioannides urged MPs to examine the issue of the disciplinary board which “for many reasons and because of the many cases could not operate as you and we would like”.
The outgoing bar association chairman said the board should not be elected by lawyers.
“A lawyer cannot go around asking for a vote to be elected to the disciplinary board,” he said.
Ioannides said he agreed with a proposal to have a board that is appointed by the attorney-general and the Bar Association’s board.
He also suggested increasing the board’s members.
The association’s disciplinary board is made up of seven members and is headed by the attorney-general. The bar association chairman is also a member.