President Nicos Anastasiades underlined the importance of reforming the judicial system during the confirmation ceremony of the new President of the Supreme Court Antonis Liatsos, which took place on Tuesday at the Presidential Palace.
The appointment of the new Supreme Court President coincides with the approval by the House of Representatives of the long-awaited reform of the country's judicial system, which, according to the President, was a result of the close cooperation between the Government, the Supreme Court, the Parliament, the Attorney General and the Bar Association.
"the SC President is charged with the constitutional obligation to uphold the authority and independence of the judiciary and has the responsibility to lead the effort to implement judicial reform"
In his speech, the President said, "The almost unanimous acceptance of the first bills by the Parliament is a demonstration of the sense of responsibility that distinguishes the political forces in decisions that are critical for the state. The first important objective has been achieved. The second and equally important but also more difficult one is the implementation of what the reform provides for. Knowing the positive role you have played during the preceding consultations, I have no doubt that you will successfully accomplish this important task as well".
One of the priorities of the Government, according to President Anastasiades, has been the swift and effective delivery of justice. In order to achieve this goal, a number of legislative acts were implemented such as the establishment of the Administrative Court, the Court of International Protection, the Commercial Court and the Maritime Court, the establishment of the School of Judges, the implementation of the transitional i-justice system with the electronic registration of court documents, the implementation of e-justice, as well as the significant increase in the number of judges based on objective criteria for their evaluation, recruitment and promotion, as suggested by the Supreme Court.
President Anastasiades called the recent approval by the House of Representatives of the bill amending the Constitution a historic milestone, "a development which reshapes the highest level of the judicial system as for the first time a tertiary jurisdiction is created, while at the same time paving the way for the passage of the bills creating the new Supreme Constitutional Court, the new Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal which will be on the Plenary agenda of next Thursday".
The President of the Republic also thanked the outgoing President of the Supreme Court, Persefoni Panayi, "who successfully fulfilled the mission entrusted to her, always with absolute respect for the rule of law, society and citizens, with a sense of high sensitivity in the administration of justice."
For his part, the new President of the Supreme Court, Antonis Liatsos, said that he accepts his appointment fully aware of the difficulties, adding that "a judge, and especially the President of the Supreme Court as the top of the judicial pyramid, should meet the highest standards of courtesy and respect, always bearing in mind that he does not serve to be honored nor does he simply apply the law. He advocates correct constitutional interpretation on key social issues, acts as an institutional counterweight, as a guarantor of civil liberties and shapes values by honoring his judicial oath. He must inspire and guide the judiciary by example".
He added that the President of the Supreme Court is charged with the constitutional obligation to uphold the authority and independence of the judiciary and has the responsibility to lead the effort to implement judicial reform.
He also praised the President's decisive role in what he called unprecedented reforms in the country, particularly in the justice sector.
Finally, on behalf of the judiciary, he thanked the President of the Republic for his unwavering support and for his interest and sensitivity in the field of administration of justice.