Democracy & Rule of Law
ERPIC is based in the Republic of Cyprus which is a member state of the European Union, as well as the Commonwealth. This fact, in common with the location of Cyprus at the crossroads of three continents, gives ERPIC a useful springboard to forge ties with bodies and persons within and beyond the Mediterranean basin. In view of the overriding importance of the rule of law to the governance of every state, the pacific settlement of disputes and the stability of international relations, the primary objective of the ERPIC rule of law program is straight-forward – to strive to ensure that the rule of law is understood, cherished and upheld in the Mediterranean, particularly in countries where there is a marked shortage of respect for international law, human rights, the separation of powers and other features of this cardinal principle.
The rule of law, in common with democracy, was effectively born in the Mediterranean yet it is far from visible in far too many parts of a region with a long history of colonial conquests, unlawful invasions, unstable governments and state-sponsored discrimination. To a considerable extent, the instability of some states in the Mediterranean region derives from the inability or unwillingness of the state itself to comply with international law or to safeguard the rights of all of its own citizens, particularly if the citizens belong to more than one ethnic or religious group. The ERPIC Rule of Law Program is grounded in a sincere belief – that the rule of law is the most effective remedy for many of the problems of the Mediterranean states, particularly those which are blighted by problems such as poverty, conflict, corruption, human rights abuses, discrimination and inter-communal tensions. Indeed, it is the conviction of ERPIC that the universal principle of the rule of law is the most effective tool available to achieve effective governance, to promote human rights, to combat discrimination and to settle domestic or international disputes.
THE THREE PROJECTS OF THE ERPIC RULE OF LAW PROGRAM
The ERPIC Rule of Law Program is sub-divided into three distinct (though partly inter-related) projects, each of which is aimed at a different group.
- The Public Education Project seeks to explain and promote the rule of law, as defined above, to ordinary members of the public including the schools, universities, NGOs, businesses, trade unions, the media and other organizations.
- The Legal Profession Project seeks to explain and promote the rule of law to members of the Judiciary and members of the legal profession.
- The Governance and Ethics Project seeks to explain and promote the rule of law to members of the legislative and executive branches of government, together with the armed forces, the police, civil servants and others who hold public office.
All of the three projects strive to achieve the primary objective of the ERPIC rule of law program, as articulated above, by means of conferences, seminars and publications. These seek to:
- Inform public as well as professional opinion;
- Foster a rule of law culture;
- Promote human rights;
- Underpin the independence of the legal profession and the Judiciary;
- Enhance effective governance;
- Promote the advantages associated with diversity and multi-ethnic societies;
- Limit the risk of corruption;
- Encourage the pacific settlement of conflicts and international disputes.
ERPIC has already built up a network of leading academics, lawyers and others who are dedicated to the rule of law and who are keen to assist in the development of its activities. Looking to the future, ERPIC will strive to forge new ties with the judiciaries, bar associations, law schools and other institutions in the Mediterranean and beyond.
Dr. Klearchos A Kyriakides
Dr Klearchos A. Kyriakides is the Director of the Rule of Law Programme of the European Rim Policy and Investment Council (ERPIC).
Away from ERPIC, Klearchos is an Assistant Professor in the School of Law of the Cyprus Campus of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan, Cyprus) where he leads the teaching on various modules. These modules include the English Legal System, Lawyers’ Skills and Public Law.
Klearchos holds an LLB Hons (Law & Politics) Degree from the University of Birmingham, an MPhil (International Relations) Degree from the University of Cambridge, a PhD (History) Degree from the University of Cambridge and a Postgraduate Diploma (Legal Practice) from the University of Westminster.
Since completing his studies, Klearchos has been an active member of the legal profession, as well as academia.
In relation to the legal profession, Klearchos qualified as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 2003. Thereafter, until 2007, he practised Law in private practice in West London. Since 2007, he has been a non-practising Solicitor and an ordinary member of the Law Society of England and Wales.
For more than a decade, Klearchos has served on the Executive Committee of the West London Law Society; he also led the Society as its elected President from 2010 until 2011. From 2006 until 2013, Klearchos served on the Executive Council of the Hertfordshire Law Society. From 2007 until 2013, he served on the Learning and Development Sub-Committee of the Hertfordshire Family Justice Board.
As regards the academic career of Klearchos, this began in 1995 when, for twelve months, he held a Research Fellowship at the erstwhile Royal Air Force Staff College in Bracknell, Berkshire. From 1997 until 1998, he served as an Independent Academic Member of the Chief of the Air Staff’s Air Power Workshop. From 1996 until 2009, he was an occasional visiting guest lecturer and course director on strategic studies courses organised for H.M. Forces by the Institute of Continuing Education at Madingley Hall, part of the University of Cambridge. From 2002 until 2015, Klearchos worked in the School of Law of the University of Hertfordshire, latterly as a Senior Lecturer teaching on various LLB and Legal Practice Course modules.
Klearchos is the author of a number of articles and other publications on a diverse array of subjects which reflect his cross-disciplinary education and professional career. These subjects include the rule of law, the constitutional role of the Law Officers of the Crown in England and Wales, the history of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia and the origins of the so-called ‘Cyprus Question’.