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Law amendment over working rights of former judges looks set for trouble

supreme court
The supreme court

Trouble may be brewing over an amendment passed through parliament earlier this week, concerning state officials working in the private sector after their retirement, it emerged on Saturday.

The regulation, which has not yet been signed by President Nicos Anastasiades, now includes judges of all ranks as well as the attorney general in the list of state officials that must obtain special permission to work in the private sector in the two year span after their retirement.

According to a report in daily Politis, the view of judges on the matter is that the regulation violates the principle on the separation of powers, by legislating for the judiciary.

The legal service is expected to advise Anastasiades to send it back to parliament and if it does not make any amendments, it will have to go to the supreme court.

Should the president sign it into law, affected judges are expected to contest its constitutionality before supreme court.

The supreme court has already informed parliament in writing of its disagreement, stipulating judges have no privileged information that could endanger public interest if they happen to work in the private sector after their retirement.

As the law currently stands, judges may not represent someone as a lawyer in court for a period of one year after their tenure.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office told the House legal committee not to go through with the amendment, as both the attorney general and the deputy attorney general have the same working conditions as judges.

The legislation has been in place since 2007 and has undergone a number of amendments. It aims to stop government officials from working for their private interests during their tenure, which could lead to a conflict of interest.

 

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