Cyprus / Supreme Court / 77/2012 Thomas Kaoulla, Eleni Kaoulla v the Republic of Cyprus, through the Attorney General of the Republic

Key facts of the case:

It is asked by the Court of Justice of the E.U. for a decision and/or order in relation to the question: Are the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus who are refugees because of the Turkish Invasion in 1974, despite the lack of specific legislation, entitled to equality as to the payment of taxes, taking into consideration their assets and income lost due to the Turkish invasion and occupation, so that there is no distinction between refugees and non-refugees, citizens of the Republic? Before the court, an appeal is pending against the decision of the District Court of Famagusta for the lawsuit no.743/07. In that lawsuit, the appellant claimed that the Republic of Cyprus tried to distribute the public expense of the invasion and occupation to all Cypriot citizens, displaced and non-displaced. The appellant also claimed that the Republic of Cyprus had the obligation for compensation at least for their lost income due to the fact of the invasion and occupation. Contrary, it is their position that the Republic of Cyprus, instead of offering, collected hundreds of thousands of pounds from them in the form of taxes and fees for their activities in the areas under the essential control of the Republic. For these reasons, the appellant claimed for compensation. The First Instance Court rejected the lawsuit based on Article 146 of the Cyprus Constitution in combination with Article 172 of the Constitution and considered that their claiming had its basis on Articles 23, 24 and 28 of the Constitution. There was no reference for violation of any right arising from either the European Law in general or the Treaties or Charter of Fundamental Rights. The lawyer of the appellants put an argument for violation of fundamental rights arising from the Charter of Fundamental Rights and specifically their rights which derive from Articles 20, 21 and in combination with Article 52.

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 


After reviewing the request, in which the respondents appealed, but of course it is for this court to decide whether justified referral question or not, we concluded that there is no justification for the referral of that question”. “It is principal that any appellant will raise, in front of the Court of Appeal, issues which were not raised and were not part of the First Instance Court. Before the First Instance Court, there was never raised such an issue of violation of rights arising from the European Law including provisions of the Charter [of Fundamental Righnts]. Since the issue cannot be raised, for first time by appeal, there is no need for interpreting the Treaties of the Charter or any other European Law provision. Therefore, the referral of the question will be a simple academic practice.” “In any way, the provisions of Articles 20 and 21 of the Charter [of Fundamental Rights] are identical at a great degree with the provisions of the Cypriot Constitution and for that reason there is no need for referral of the question, even if the question could be raised by appeal.

Deciding body (original language): 
Ανώτατο Δικαστήριο Κύπρου