The legal system in Cyprus is rather unique; it could be described as a diverse legal system. The reason being is that its private law is based on common law, which has been codified in statutes. The public law in Cyprus is founded on a continental tradition. Legislation in Cyprus has a rather distinctive colonial flavour. This is due to the history of the colonial invasions of the country. Due to the Turkish occupation of a substantial part of the country, in addition to the decades of the long state political emergencies in Cyprus; there has been a traditional mentality which holds a sense of perpetual interim. These factors have collectively formed an amazingly individual composite picture of a unique legal system, that has rarely been studied with depth, both from the inside and the outside.

THE CONTRIBUTION OF MIXED LEGAL SYSTEMS TO EUROPEAN PRIVATE LAW (Jan Smits ed., Intersentia 2001); JAN SMITS, THE MAKING OF EUROPEAN PRIVATE LAW: TOWARD A IUS COMMUNE EUROPAEUM AS A MIXED LEGAL SYSTEM (Intersentia 2002).

All European Union countries have rules; points that citizens and foreigners need to obey. It is a general statement all over the EU that each country is going to have rules, normally conceived inside a certain book or document, which need to be followed, otherwise the person would be acting “illegally” and would suffer negative consequences, from fines to jail time. However, what are all these rules? And more importantly, where can they be found?

These rules are a simple, not very adequate way of referring to the laws of a country. And these laws are normally registered inside the legal system, which is the legal regimen of a country, in which laws are included but also interpreted; this means, the legal system is the place where anyone can look up the rules of a country, how those rules work and should be followed, and what would happen if a person did not comply with them.

In the first chapter of the BRIGHT@EU modules, it will be possible to obtain a general vision of the legal system of each of the countries conforming the partnership. It will also serve as base for the future chapters.

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