On 2 March 2018, the School of Law of UCLan Cyprus held a roundtable on social and economic rights in times of crisis which took place at the Cleopatra Hotel, in Nicosia. The aim of the roundtable was to bring judges of the national and supranational legal order and academics together to discuss the status of socio-economic rights in times of crises and methods that can be implemented to ensure the sustainable enjoyment of such rights. It sought to provide an in-depth understanding of where socio-economic rights stand in the current financial crisis in the EU and within the framework of Member States. It also considered the impact of the deterioration of socio-economic rights on a micro (individual), meso (group – such as vulnerable groups) and macro (societal) level. The focus was to move beyond a theoretical conceptualisation to a practical analysis of themes such as the substance of socio-economic rights, their application within the EU and new paradigms of reconceptualising this application. The event was open to judges, academics and researchers and there was no participation fee. The full programme can be downloaded here.
The event was chaired by Professor Stéphanie Laulhé Shaelou, Head of School of Law, UCLan Cyprus who welcomed for his Opening Speech the Honourable Judge Myron Nicolatos, President of the Supreme Court of Cyprus. Judge Akis Hadjihambis (ret’d), Former President of the Supreme Court of Cyprus, then took the floor to discuss ‘The role and protection of socio-economic rights in the Cyprus Constitution’. His speech can be found here. He was followed by the Honourable Judge Anna Marcoulli of the General Court of the European Union who presented a paper entitled ‘Recent developments in the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union on the protection of socio-economic rights in times of crisis: limits and challenges’. The ECHR perspective was next presented by the Honourable Judge George Serghides of the European Court of Human Rights in a paper entitled ‘Social and economic rights under the European Convention on Human Rights and their Protection in Times of Crisis’ which can be found here. Finally, Dr. Natalie Alkiviadou, Lecturer in Law, School of Law, UCLan Cyprus, took the floor to talk about ‘The protection of social and economic rights in times of crisis: Towards a sustainable approach’. The relevant paper can be found here. A discussion and an open forum followed, with Mrs. Barbara Weiler, Former Member of the European Parliament, and Judge George Arestis (ret’d), Former judge at the European Court of Justice and at the Supreme Court of Cyprus, as discussants, as well as interventions by participants to the roundtable. A reception closed the event.
The School of Law of UCLan Cyprus would like to extend its most sincere thanks to all the members of the judiciary present on the day, particularly the speakers coming from the various layers of the legal order, including European, to the greatest benefit of all present.