The constitution of our country has been the highest law of the land until the Republic’s accession to the European Union. Following accession in 2004, the constitution has been amended so that European law has highest supremacy.The constitution is a set of rules that regulate the incorporation, organisation, the functions and the authorities of the public bodies of the state but more importantly, maybe to citizens and their individual rights, are the rules that regulate the personal, political and social rights of those living and working in the Republic.
Our constitution introduces the separation of powers. As per article 61 of the Constitution, the lawmakers of the Republic are the members of Parliament. The Executive powers are vested in the President of the Republic of Cyprus, the Council of Ministers, Ministries and various other state bodies. The Judiciary is the third arm of the state and is wholly independent of the other two. This independence is one of the most vital safeguards of a democracy and is underpinned by the rule of law. The rule of law is the system where everyone is equal under the law and all persons are subject to the rule of law. Everyone is entitled to have an action heard by an independent and impartial court or tribunal. Constitutional issues can be raised in a court of law for any case involving violation of a person’s or entity’s constitutional rights.
In 1950 the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) was finally adopted in the Council of Europe. The ECHR has direct applicability in Cyprus and provided that domestic procedures are exhausted, a case can be brought to the European Court of Human Rights.