The European Courts as Political Actors in the Cyprus Conflict
Title: The European Courts as Political Actors in the Cyprus Conflict
Author: SKOUTARIS, Nikos
Citation: Francis SNYDER and Imelda MAHER (eds), The Evolution of the European Courts: Institutional Change and Continuity, Brussels, Bruylant, 2009, 235-257
The European courts have faced on several occasions questions arising from the Cyprus Gordian knot. The judgments inter alia of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Loizidou and in Xenides-Arestis, of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the Anastasiou saga and most recently of a UK court in Orams, have significantly altered the background of that ancient political conflict. The thesis of the proposed paper is that although the courts have not refrained from becoming actors in this unique political situation by adopting for example a “political question” doctrine, their jurisprudence points to the limits of an “incremental solution” through the legal process and thus proves that in issues of grave political importance it is only a more democratic and deliberative procedure that could provide for a comprehensive solution. In order to achieve its scope the paper examines thoroughly the relevant case law on the protection of human rights in the Areas not under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus and analyses the jurisprudence of the European courts on the issue of trade relations with the regime in the North.
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