Journal of Civil Law Studies


Cyprus presents us with its own kind of a mixed legal system: its private law is mostly common law, long codified in statutes. Its public law derives from the continental tradition. Procedural law is purely common law—a major factor in the mutation of the “continental” elements of the legal system. The state of play is affected by the split in the legal profession between continental- and English-educated lawyers (a split acquiring generational and subject-matter dimensions). The bulk of legislation and legal institutions have a distinctively colonial and/or post-colonial flavor. However, the country and the legal elites identify with, and are active participants in, European law and institutions. Last, but not least, Cyprus law combines a traditionalist mentality with the sense of perpetual temporariness (interimness) due to the decades-long state of political emergency and the Turkish occupation of a substantial part of the territory. All these factors, and more, contribute to an amazingly complex picture of a unique legal system, which has seldom been studied properly, either from the inside or the outside. My paper attempts to use modern theories of comparative law, especially with regard to mixed jurisdictions, legal influences and hybridity, to account for the complexities of Cyprus law.

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