Talks And Negotiations

Aside

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.

In the Streets of New City (Down Town City)

Link

A story about true skills

Around 1999 I happened to work in the same department with the late Patrick Smith*. Patrick was endowed with rare mathematical abilities. He could work out all sorts of programs with spread sheet analysis. For some strange reason, the director did not like him and started treating him in a quite odious manner.

He first took away his schedule of duties and transferred it to someone else. Next he moved away his secretary to the pool. After that he took away the office computer leaving him without access to the eMcEaR* data.

All these left Patrick with much less to do and with spare time. Patrick brought his own laptop with him in the office and concentrated his attention the stock exchange technical analysis.

A few weeks later, he invited me for lunch, as he managed to gain around ₤75.000 (USD 125.000 | EUR 100.000) in London and New York. The following week, I met Pamela*, one of the eMcEaR staff in the corridor.

– My boss invited me for lunch today, she announced to me. – He made gains from buying and selling shares in the Stock Exchange, she went on.

– Who is your boss? I asked her. – Patrick, she replied. – Enjoy your lunch, I said.

Then Patrick appeared in his way to the officers’ mess accompanied by Armand Andrews*. He invited me again for lunch. – No thank you, you offered me a lunch last week. Armand heard the conversation. He said to me: “no this week Patrick made new gains, so do join us for lunch.” I could not join the free lunch.

In the meantime, I had realized that taking away Patrick’s schedule of duties was unconstitutional, under article 127.3 of the constitution, which bids as follows: “The powers, functions and duties of the Accountant-General provided in this chapter may be exercised by him in person or by such subordinate officers acting under and in accordance with his instructions.”

This was so, because Patrick belonged to the ranks of the Accountant-General subordinates, while the new incumbent did not. Certainly, Patrick’s ill treatment and humiliation did not deter him from being successful.

However, this case is unique and a very rare exception. On the other hand, unconstitutionality, it did not concern him. He sat near the wall looking at the street backgrounds, reading a journal, featuring a brand new car.

A new sports vehicle for him and another automobile for his wife as you know were within the realms of this journal. He happened to know, they came from a different anecdote.

As now I am an author with my digital books on Kindle, I whole heartedly recommend to you to get them downloaded on your Kindle and practice the titles therein to help you develop your skills that give rise to chance and to take advantage of the chances that give rise to skill.

You may recommend the same link to your readers.

Please note:

(*) Any resemblance to living persons is purely coincidental and unintentional, and the real names were changed.