Antis Triantafyllides & Sons LLC represents Cypriot judges in a significant case relating to the safeguarding of judicial integrity and judicial independence
Our firm represented many of the recently appointed judges in a significant case before the Administrative Court in terms of safeguarding judicial integrity and judicial independence.
In 2012, a Law was enacted providing that recently appointed public sector employees would not be included in the Government Pension Scheme (the “Scheme”), which used to provide for the pensions of public sector employees. “Recently appointed public servants” are defined in the Law as all public sector employees appointed after 01/10/2011 and who had not worked in the public sector before.
Our firm successfully challenged the decision of the State not to include recently appointed judges in the Scheme on the basis that the provisions of the Law were unconstitutional.
The Administrative Court held on 31 July 2020 that the decision not to include judges in the Scheme violated Articles 28, 30.2 and 158.3 of the Cyprus Constitution (the “Constitution”).
Article 30.2 of the Constitution provides for the right of the citizens to be heard by an independent tribunal. The Administrative Court decided that the new Law is contrary to Article 30.2 of the Constitution since the provision of judicial pension is a necessary element for the safeguard of judicial independence.
Article 28 of the Constitution provides for equal treatment and the prohibition of discrimination. The Administrative Court decided that the Law discriminated between recently appointed judges who used to work in the public sector before their appointment and were included in the Scheme and recently appointed judges who had never worked in the public sector who were excluded from the Scheme.
Article 158.3 of the Constitution provides that the remuneration and other conditions of service of any judge shall not be altered to their disadvantage after their appointment. The Administrative Court held that the exclusion of the applicants from the Scheme adversely affected their employment terms and thus it was unconstitutional.