Surrounded by Greece, Egypt, Turkey and Israel, The Republic of Cyprus is an island country located about 2000 miles northeast of Africa in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Although northern Cyprus is under Turkish control and calls itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Turkey is the only country that recognizes this entity. The international populace considers northern Cyprus an area that is simply occupied by forces working for the Turkish government and is actually a part of the Republic of Cyprus.
In 2004, Cyprus joined the European Union and later joined the Eurozone in 2008. It is one of the most popular destination spots in the Mediterranean due to its mild winters and subtropical climate and enjoys a high-income economy that consistently scores in the top 20 on the Human Development Index.
Useful Information about Cyprus
• The CIA World Factbook states that 77 percent of Cyprus residents are Greek Cypriots, with 18 percent of them designated at Turkish Cypriots. Over 10,000 Russians currently live in Cyprus as well. • Greek Cypriots belong to the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus while Turkish Cypriots adhere to the Sunni Islam religion. • Turkish and Greek are Cyprus' two official languages. Cypriot Maronite Arabic and Armenian are considered minority languages. However, English is spoken by many Cypriots and most public notices, road signs and advertisements are in English. • Approximately 7% of the GDP is used to fund educational ventures, making Cyprus one of the EU's top spenders on primary and higher education (along with Sweden and Denmark). • A member of the EU, Cyprus uses the euro as currency. However, the Turkish lira is used in the northern part of Cyprus, along with the euro. • The capital and largest city in Cyprus is Nicosia. It is also considered the 5th richest city in the world. in terms of per capita income.
Legal System in Cyprus
Under British rule until 1960, Cyprus employs a legal system similar to the English system of law. Cyprus currently has a Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, Principles of Common Law and Equity and Laws enacted by members of their House of Representatives. After Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, its Constitution was amended to allow European legislature to supercede their national legislation. The three branches of Cyprus law are the Common Law, Principles of Equity and Statute Law, which comprises the bulk of Cyprus legal system. District courts are divided into Civil, Family, Labor Law, Criminal and Military courts. All lawyers qualified to work in Cyprus have the right to appear in any District Court. However, a Cyprus lawyer must have five or more years experience practicing as a district court lawyer before they can be heard by the Supreme Court.
Study Law in Cyprus
Legal Education in Cyprus
The most popular law program in Cyprus is offered by the University of Nicosia, where students can earn an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) in four years. According to the University of Nicosia's website, the LLB program was officially recognized by the Cyprus Legal Council in 2009 and enables graduates to continue with their education so they can qualify to sit at the bar exam. The Cyprus Bar Association regulates licenses and establishes disciplinary measures as needed. Lawyers in Cyprus do not need to specialize in any field of law because they are considered "registered" practicing lawyers who can take on any legal case they wish. The European University Cyprus has master's degree law programs that require students complete Bachelor of Laws courses before enrolling in graduate level law classes.
Tuition Costs for Earning a LLB or LLM in Cyprus
Approximate cost of one year of law school in Cyprus is 9000 to 12000 euros ($12,000 to $16,000 USD). The European University Cyprus offers financial aid for students in need as well as various scholarships and grants for international students. All students must pay tuition fees, regardless of country of residency.
Opportunities for Lawyers in Cyprus
Although the unemployment rate in Cyprus is currently 17 percent, licensed lawyers experience less difficulty finding positions with law firms, banks, police enforcement agencies and other industries requiring knowledge of international and business law.