Civil Society

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(EN) Our Civil Society

Our Civil Society begins around the year 1500 BC with the advent of the Myceneans to Cyprus. The Myceneans brought their language, customs and religion. The Achaeans followed bringing to the island their priests, oracles, gods, altars, epic poetry and city-states. Salamis, Kitium, Amathus, Akamas, Marion, Aepia, and Idalion are paid lip service in 12th century BC inscription in Egypt.

The independence of the city-states suffered its first infringement under Ptolemy with the establishment of the Koinon, the first federal system of government in Cyprus in the year 294 BC. Under the Koinon, the city-states continued to have their parliament, demos (assembly of citizens), secretary and Gymnasium Principal. The Koinonwas invested with religious duties and the jurisdiction to cut coins. This federal form of government persisted after the demise of Antony and Cleopatra in the year 31 BC when Cyprus became officially a province of the Roman Empire, initially under the Emperor and later under the Roman Senate, and lasted throughout the Principate period retaining a genuine civil form of governance and lifestyle. In the Domination era, civil society had its first setbacks undergoing a gradual conversion due to the slow but inevitable predominance of the Christian religion.

As in other parts of the Roman Empire, first during the Domination years ending in the year 565 AD, and second during the Byzantine period Cyprus enjoyed a diminished form of civil society preserved under the Theodosian and Justinian Code of Civil Law, later given the name Corpus luris Civilis. Ever since the 4th century AD Cyprus enjoined a dichotomy of powers divided into secular and temporal, the first carried out by virtue of a Civil Code.

The latest version of the Civil Code had been compiled in the 15th century AD in Six Books, by Armenopoulos, governing secular matters. Temporal matters were vested exclusively in the autocephalous church of Cyprus by virtue of the Holy Canons and its Charter for the Greeks. A second temporal power emerged in 1570 AD solemnly declared by Lala Mustafa Pasha on 15th September in Hagia Sophia establishing the Vakf Institution and Vakf Principles and Laws for the Turkish Community immediately after the sacking of Nicosia. Both Temporal powers are in force under the provisions of the 1960 Constitution.

Civil Society, however, suffered a further degradation, due to the tacit circumvention of civil rights and liberties in the mid-1950s, mid-1960s and finally in the mid-1970s being the outcome of hostilities between the two communities. Civil rights had never been taken seriously in Cyprus ever since the Principate times came to an end, and reference to them today implies merely gay rights.

 

(ES) NUESTRA SOCIEDAD CIVIL

Nuestra Sociedad Civil comienza alrededor del año 1500 a.C., con la llegada de los micénicos a Chipre. Los micénicos trajeron su idioma, las costumbres y la religión. Los aqueos siguieron trayendo a la isla a sus sacerdotes, oráculos, dioses, altares, la poesía épica y ciudades-estado. Salamina, Kitium, Amathus, Akamas, Marion, AEPIA y Idalion se pagan de boquilla en la inscripción del siglo 12 antes de Cristo en Egipto. La independencia de las ciudades-estado sufrió su primera infracción en las Ptolomeo con el establecimiento de la Koinon, el primer sistema federal de gobierno en Chipre en el año 294 antes de Cristo. Bajo el Koinon, las ciudades-estado sigue teniendo su parlamento, demos (asamblea de ciudadanos), secretario y Gimnasio Principal. El Koinon fue investido con los deberes religiosos y la jurisdicción para cortar monedas.

Esta forma de gobierno federal persistió después de la desaparición de Antonio y Cleopatra en el año 31 a.C., cuando Chipre se convirtió oficialmente en una provincia del Imperio Romano, inicialmente bajo el emperador y más tarde bajo el senado romano, y se prolongó durante todo el período de retención de un auténtico principado civil, forma de gobierno y estilo de vida. En la era de la dominación, la sociedad civil tuvo sus primeros reveses sometidos a una conversión gradual debido al predominio lento pero inevitable de la religión cristiana. Al igual que en otras partes del Imperio Romano, primero durante los años de dominación que terminan en el año 565 d.C., y la segunda durante el período bizantino Chipre gozó de una forma disminuida de la sociedad civil conservado bajo el Código de Derecho Civil de Teodosio y Justiniano, más tarde recibió el nombre de Corpus Iuris Civilis (ClC).

Desde el siglo 4 d.C. Chipre impuso una dicotomía de poderes divididos en secular y temporal, el primero que se realiza en virtud de un Código Civil. La última versión del Código Civil había sido compilada en el siglo 15 d.C., en seis libros, por Armenopoulos, gobernando mater seculares. Asuntos temporales fueron investidos exclusivamente en la Iglesia autocéfala de Chipre en virtud de la Santa Cánones y su Carta para los griegos. Un segundo poder temporal surgió en 1570 AD declaró solemnemente por Lala Mustafa Pasha el 15 de septiembre en la iglesia de Santa Sofía se establecen los principios y leyes Vakf Institución y Vakf para la comunidad turca inmediatamente después del saqueo de Nicosia. Ambos poderes temporales están en vigor en virtud de lo dispuesto en la Constitución de 1960.

Talks And Negotiations

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TALKS AND NEGOTIATIONS IN CYPRUS

1964-2014

Certain terms reverberate constantly around us for more than half a century and have become part and parcel of the vocabulary to which we are accustomed.

We often find them parochial or anecdotal, but still they bring to us an air of comfort and hope. Such is their power and utility, when we hear of ‘inter-communal talks’ or of ‘negotiations’ aiming at ‘a solution of the Cyprus problem’.

This article does not attempt to bring any more hope or hopelessness to a bleak state of affairs or ‘status quo’ but simply examines this issue from a different point of view.

We all seem to know very well what ‘talks’ and ‘negotiations’ are for us, and indeed we take them for granted. One little glimpse into this matter informs us that in reaching an agreement we pass through a number negotiation stages.

Let us start with the first stage. Here we have a preliminary stage. At this stage, there is no pro-contractual bond between the parties, but the parties are not completely alien to each other. They find themselves in a trust relationship.

In view of this relationship, a spirit of solidarity should prevail. The parties are bound to good faith behaviour between them. More specifically, in case of an offence during the negotiations known as ‘culpa in contrahendo’ the party causing damage is liable to rectify this damage. Pro-contractual responsibility is different from a binding proposal.

The Second stage: The preliminary stage comes to an end when a contract is made or when a preliminary agreement is reached.

First, by a preliminary agreement the parties undertake bi-laterally or unilaterally to make a future agreement containing a contract, which will be the final contract, either between them and/or between them and a third party.

Second, a preliminary agreement is different from an option.

The Third stage: The contractual point begins from the moment of reaching an agreement up to the moment of amortization of the contract.

The Fourth stage: The post-contractual stage comes last, in cases in which there are certain obligations between the parties emanating from the contract already implemented between them.

When negotiation is aiming to a compromise contract, as this has been admitted and declared repeatedly for the Cyprus problem, we must not forget that “by a compromise contract the parties dissolve by mutual concessions a dispute or uncertainty between them regarding a relationship governed by law.”

We should also not lose sight of the fact that compromise comprises rights the parties can dispose under ‘ius dispositivum’. Rights protected by public order rules are not liable to disposal as such. E.g. in the case of personality and property, we have absolute rights which everyone owes to recognize and to respect.

Even committing a suicide is not admissible, as life is an absolute right. After the legal abolition of servitude, resigning from the right of judicial protection, property and inheritance is not compatible with the notion of liberty.

Please see the enactment of the relevant law in Cyprus enforced as from 27 December 1879, Cap. 71.

Contract of Adhesion: In this type of contract the content of the contract as well as the terms provided therein do not emanate from liberal negotiations between the parties as equals. The terms of such a contract are set out in the form of general transaction terms unilaterally and beforehand in a stereotype text by the socially and economically stronger party, while the weaker party accepts or rejects in one word without having any margin to discuss or amend such terms.

In such cases, it is admitted that at least in theory the acceding party knows these terms at the decision making stage, when signing the contract, or paying for the ticket or coupon, as regards transport, theater and other services of similar nature.