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Coronavirus: Lawyers plan to sue government over lack of legal access

Lawyers

The Bar Association is set to sue the government over the easing of Covid restrictions announced on Wednesday that still limit the numbers of employees in workplaces to a skeleton staff.

Following a three-week lockdown, the cabinet has decided to reopen barber shops, hairdressers and beauticians from Monday and raise the number of staff physically present in private service companies from 25 per cent to 50 per cent, a number considered to be too law by the bar association.

According to association’s president Christos Clerides, the restrictions deprive people of the right to have access to a lawyer.

Clerides deemed the health decree unconstitutional, as it prevents clients from having access to a lawyer to discuss a potential case, which is a fundamental right in the Cypriot constitution.

The potential lawsuits against the government will seek two remedies, namely a compensation for violations of a constitutional right and declaring the decrees in place illegal and unconstitutional.

Clerides added that a similar treatment will be sought in the appeals to the Supreme Court, should they be necessary, claiming the most emphasis will be placed on the government failure to protect and enforce a constitutional right of being able to consult a lawyer.

He said that the potential lawsuit is currently being prepared by the Bar Association itself, meaning it will be presented as a collective lawsuit.

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