Former Justice Minister and prominent lawyer Dr Kypros Chrysostomides died on Thursday, at the age of 80, after a battle with cancer.
He was born in Paphos in 1942 and went on to study law at the University of Athens.
He continued his studies at the Luxembourg Law School, where he studied Comparative Law.
On a scholarship granted by the German government, he pursued postgraduate studies at the University of Bonn. There he obtained a Doctorate in Law (Ph.D.) and specialised in Business Law. Thereafter, he worked as a scientific assistant to the Professor of Private International Law at the University of Bonn, and he continued his studies in England.
During his career, Chrysostomides was appointed a research fellow in Private International Law at the University of Bonn and worked at the European Commission of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
He was a member of the Cyprus Bar Association, the Greek Institute of International Law, the International Law Association, the International Bar Association and the European Law Institute.
Chrysostomides was also a member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration for two consecutive terms, until June 2018.
Politically, he served as government spokesman between 2003-2005 under President Tassos Papadopoulos. In May 2006 he was elected a member of the House of Representatives, where he served as deputy chairman of the Home Affairs Committee.
In 1998 he established the movement ‘Epalxis Anasiggrotisis Kentrou’ (Political Grouping for the Restructure of the Centre).
He was appointed minister of justice and public order in February 2008 but as of December 2008, returned to full time practice with the firm until his illness.
In 2020, he was awarded the Cyprus Business Leader Award by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve).
Chrysostomides’ book Cyprus: Legal and Political Reflections, received praise for its depth and extensive analysis of the application of international law and ethics in Cyprus. He also published two children’s books in Greek, in 2013 and 2021, which were officially introduced into the education system. He has also received a number of awards for his work.
In 1991 during the presidency of François Mitterrand, he was honoured by the French government with the medal of the “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite” (Ordre National du Merite) and then by the Government of Jacques Chirac in 2004 with the medal of “Officier de l’Ordre National du Merite”.
He was also honoured with an award from the then President of Greece, Costis Stephanopoulos.
In November 2022, he was honoured with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” in the Cyprus Review Annual Book Awards (CRABA 2022) at the University of Nicosia, in recognition of his significant body of published work, especially on the international aspects of the Cyprus Question.
He married lawyer Eleni G. Polyviou in 1974, and they have two daughters, Daphne and Georgia.
Reacting to the news, main opposition Akel and other political parties expressed their condolences.
“Kypros Chrysostomides left his mark on Cypriot politics with his patriotism, culture, and ethics, with his conscientiousness and integrity, virtues with which he served in public life, both as a politician and as a lawyer. The honours he received for his writing work on the Cyprus issue, international law and human rights speak for themselves,” Akel said.
Akel extended their condolences to his family, saying that he had always been interested in the welfare of the country, and been active in the centre, progressive, and democratic movements.