The Impact of European Private Law Upon the Mixed Legal System of Cyprus

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This article attempts to examine the impact of European private law upon the legal system of Cyprus taking into account its mixed elements and whether these elements have contributed towards a smooth reception of EU law. While Nikitas Hatzimihail argued in 2013 that it may still be too early to assess the impact of European Union (EU) law upon the legal system of Cyprus, the financial crisis and its effects render such an assessment possible. Building upon Hatzimihail’s work in his effort at understanding a “unique” legal system by using comparative law theory to understand the doctrinal development and elaboration of Cyprus law, this article attempts to offer its own contribution towards that end, by examining the impact of EU law upon the enforcement of contracts.

The legal system of Cyprus reaffirms Sir Thomas Smith’s perception of a mixed jurisdiction as a system where civil law and common law doctrines have been received and indeed contend for supremacy. These systems, that Vernon Valentine Palmer described as forming part of the “third legal family” are considered to be more receptive of outside influences, while their experience is considered valuable for the elaboration of a European private law. In this con-text, the experience of European law reception in Cyprus, particularly the Unfair Contract Terms in Consumer Contracts Directive, proves otherwise. Cyprus courts have given European standards a common law gloss despite the willingness to partake in European law.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)95-159
JournalJournal of Civil Law Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2019


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