If we agree with Sigmund Freud that “the first requisite of civilization is that of justice” and assume that half of attorney Nicos Clerides’s allegations are true based on his January 11 letter to the Cyprus Bar Association, then you realize that we live in a state where civilization is on a dangerous decline.
Evidence of civilization in Cyprus dates back to ancient times with a rich fossil record in Khirokitia, Salamina, Soloi, and Curium, while as indigenous natives we pride ourselves in saying that the Stoic philosopher Zeno (334 BC – 262 BC) was of Citium, meaning he hailed from Larnaca. In fact, Zeno has a series of works to his name with some segments still surviving that have become cultural references, such as Pythagorean Doctrines, Republic, Reason, education and legal writings on the law, as justice had been an integral part of states bound by laws.
As one delves further, it is becomes clear that Justice was in trouble always even in civilized Europe. English humanist and philosopher Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) had written: “Two evils, greed and faction are the destruction of all justice.”
Six centuries later, we see Zeno’s homeland being dominated by a lack of accountability, especially among the ruling elite and the subsequent impunity that has led to their institutional immunity, something translating into getting rich uncontrollably and often unlawfully.
The letter shows more than just an affront to civilization and a tragically raped Cypriot Lady Justice, not unlike Greek Cypriot women raped in 1974
This barbarity, under the guise of a “modern” technocratic model, was nothing but the mechanism that rendered justice ineffective as just another commodity.
This is how the suitors of Lady Justice began to enrich themselves beyond stupid, having lost any sense of connection with society. This was done to the point where the principle that true civilization is based on human beings recognizing the same rights in others was completely left out. And more so when it comes to having access to justice.
The details in the Clerides letter seem to show more than just an affront to civilization and a tragically raped Cypriot Lady Justice, not unlike the Greek Cypriot women raped during the Turkish invasion and then left to become a mockery for 45 years. Even as those women who suffer in silence, and I wrote about them in the past, one day will die and thus “free” this state of the political burden they have become, justice cannot die.
Following the public accusations by Clerides, one would expect the Supreme Court to act swiftly due to the serious allegations. The letter was nothing short of accusing members of the Supreme Court of having some sort of interactions with a law firm where children of appellate judges worked to benefit client banks.
But it call boiled down to “let’s wait until the holidays are over and we’ll see.” The holidays came and went and Mr. Clerides responded in writing to provide the information he was asked to elaborate.
If even part of the information is proven, then we believe that the main guardian of the Constitution, the President of the Republic, has a lot of work to do. Same goes for parliament as the other authorized representative of the people.
Because “in the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?” asked Saint Augustine (354-430 AD).
And what about mass media, do they have a part to play in all of this? Of course, but we should not forget “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” After the financial blow of 2013, the survival of the media is once again open season for the big private corporations. As the Republic seeks to delve into other affairs, Justice could be controlled as so can democracy.
So what are we to do? We have to give raped Lady Justice what the Cypriot Republic never gave the raped women of ’74. Their right to dignity.
The article was first published by Kathimerini Cyprus on 13 January 2019