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Saturday, April 25, 2009

ECJ to rule on Orams


The European Court of Justice will on Tuesday rule on the high profile Orams case which is set to have far reaching effects on the issue of refugee properties in Cyprus.

The ECJ preliminary decision will determine whether EU citizens who are penalised by Cypriot courts for buying refugee property in the occupied part of Cyprus, can have the Cypriot court decision enforced against them in their home country under EU Regulation 44/2001.

It follows an appeal by Greek Cypriot refugee Meletis Apostolides, who sought to enforce a 2004 local court decision in the UK against David and Linda Orams for illegally building a luxury villa on his Lapithos property.

The Advocate General of the ECJ Juliane Kokott in an opinion published in December 2008 fully endorsed Apostolides’ arguments, expressing also the view that the negotiation efforts to solve the Cyprus problem do not constitute public policy grounds on which to reject the appeal.

But Apostolides’ lawyer Constantis Candounas in a press release this week stressed that the Advocate General’s Opinion is not binding on the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice.

Apostolides and his lawyer will give a conference on their return from Luxembourg.

Irrespective of the final outcome, Apostolides expressed thanks to the Government of Poland, the Hellenic Republic, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus as well as the Commission of the European Communities for submitting written observations in the proceedings before the ECJ.

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