Akel MP Irene Charalambides will be submitting a bill to parliament aimed at separating the attorney-general’s (AG) powers by amending the constitution.

“It is about time this discussion begins,” she said on Monday.

Charalambides stressed she began a study two years ago with both British and Cypriot legal experts to prepare the bill.

“Personally, I am tired of hearing statements that lack substance and just repeat the problem,” she added. As such, she will be submitting the bill on Thursday.

The AG’s two hats

Currently, the attorney-general is also the state’s legal adviser as well as the public prosecutor. His dual role has been cited in the EU’s rule of law report, Charalambides told parliament.

Attempting to change this will require an amendment of the constitution she said.

“We have legal decisions that demonstrate issues of the utmost importance for transparency and accountability, and at some point they will be made public. Modern society demands accountability and transparency from everyone. Society has the right to know.”

Significant reform

Charalambides said the current status quo cannot continue and the bill would change the constitution.

“I recognise how important it is for some to hold on to their privileges, but they do not represent a modern European state.”

“It is in our hands to change the constitution.”

Her statements come on the heels of a Supreme Court decision last week, which upheld a court of first instance that threw out a private lawsuit over the AG’s powers.

The case took issue with the fact that the AG can stop criminal proceedings citing public interest without offering any justification.

Nonetheless the full bench of the Supreme Court ruled “the AG’s powers do not fall under judicial scrutiny.”