Despite the public’s general disdain for public institutions, Cypriot justice is trusted, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Thursday at a swearing in ceremony for the new judges at the courts.

Christodoulides conceded that the public doubt in institutions is of general concern, but commenting on the Cypriot justice system and the reform, the president said: “It has been established in the people’s minds as the most valid defender of their rights and the safest shield of their rights.”

The operation of the Supreme Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the brand-new Court of Appeal is a milestone in the administration of justice and marks the beginning of a new era, he added.

The president also thanked the work done by the previous government to bring about the reforms to the judicial system, and thanked the bar association and the parliament for the work done.

“I know, at the same time, the spirit of goodwill and consensual approach that everyone showed, and that is why, despite any disagreements and different approaches to individual issues, the problems were overcome. And I want especially for this reason, to express to everyone the warm thanks of the state for the spirit they showed during the discussions,” he said.

He added that a state not only has to lay down the foundations of social coexistence and the protection of democratic freedoms through laws, but it has a duty to protect and strengthen the mechanisms for the administration of real justice.

Last year, the House finally passed the amendment for judicial reform after years of discussions and consultations.

The amendment to the constitution allowed for the reopening of the two supreme courts provided for in the constitution of the Republic, namely the Supreme Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Justice, but also the granting of additional third-degree jurisdiction to these two courts for the very first time.

The powers of the two courts had been merged into one, on the basis of the law of necessity, following the withdrawal of Turkish Cypriots from the government in 1963.

The former Supreme Court president Myron Nicolatos said on the day last year when the House voted for the reform it “is indeed a historic day” and noted that in areas of the courts and the judiciary it should have been done earlier.

Asked what the amendment of the constitution means for the ordinary citizen, Nicolatos said they will enjoy faster administration of justice, but there will also be a better quality of justice, because “for the first time in the history of the Republic there will be a tertiary stage of justice.”