Announcement for the EU Observatory on the Online Platform Economy

We proudly announce that the lawyer of our office, Christiana Markou, has been appointed by the European Commission to be one of the fifteen members of the Expert group to the EU Observatory on the Online Platform Economy which supports the Commission in monitoring the evolution of the online platform economy for evidence-based and problem-focused policymaking. The Expert group has several tasks:

  1. advise the Commission on the main trends of the online platform economy.
  2. analyse potentially harmful practices within the online platform economy, including:
  • issues related to algorithmic decision-making and ranking, including the question of transparency;
  • access to, and use of, different categories data, including personal data;
  • issues related to remuneration for material displayed online, in particular in relation to search results;
  • transparency and accountability in business-to-business commercial relations in online advertising;
  • differentiated treatment when business users on platforms compete with products offered by the platform;
  • restrictions on business users by platforms for offering different conditions when using other distribution channels;
  • possible impacts of these potentially harmful practices on consumers;

3.assist the Commission in the preparation of its annual work programme regarding these issues;

4. analyse the evolution of policy measures related to the online platform economy in the Member States, the Union or in third countries;

5. communicate with other relevant experts or centres of excellence upon the request and supervision of the Commission.

You can see more about the Expert group at:

Αεροπορικό Δίκαιο: Δικαιώματα του καταναλωτή

Ο δικηγόρος του γραφείου μας Βασίλης Αντωνίου συμμετείχε στις 25 Νοεμβρίου 2020 στη διαδικτυακή εκδήλωση με θέμα “Αεροπορικό Δίκαιο: Δικαιώματα του καταναλωτή”, την οποία διοργάνωσε ο Νομικός Όμιλος του Πανεπιστημίου Κύπρου. Ο τίτλος της εισήγησής του ήταν “Οι έκτακτες περιστάσεις κατά το Κανονισμό 261/2004 και οι επιπτώσεις της πανδημίας στην εφαρμογή του Κανονισμού”. Αναλυτικότερα, παρουσίασε ορισμένες περιπτώσεις* κατά τις οποίες, σύμφωνα με τη νομολογία του Δικαστηρίου της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, οι αερομεταφορείς δύνανται να επικαλεστούν τις “έκτακτες περιστάσεις” με αποτέλεσμα να απαλλάσσονται από την υποχρέωση καταβολής της προβλεπόμενης από τον Ευρωπαϊκό Κανονισμό 261/2004 (αναφορικά με τα δικαιώματα επιβατών αεροπορικών μεταφορών) αποζημίωσης, όταν υπάρξει καθυστέρηση ή ματαίωση μιας πτήσης. Παράλληλα, ανέλυσε το τρόπο με τον οποίο τα Κράτη Μέλη της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης αλλά και αεροπορικές εταιρείες εφαρμόζουν το σημαντικό αυτό νομοθέτημα κατά τη διάρκεια της πανδημίας, όπου μεγάλος αριθμός πτήσεων έχει ματαιωθεί, ενώ τέλος, παρουσίασε τις πρόσφατες ανακοινώσεις/κατευθυντήριες γραμμές της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής σύμφωνα με τις οποίες η πανδημία θα μπορούσε να θεωρηθεί ως “έκτακτη περίσταση”. Στην εκδήλωση, συμμετείχαν επίσης με εισηγήσεις σχετικές τόσο με τον ανωτέρω κανονισμό όσο και με ζητήματα διαφάνειας των αεροπορικών ναύλων και των συναφών χρεώσεων, η Νομική Σύμβουλος του Ευρωπαϊκού Κέντρου Καταναλωτή Κύπρου κα. Αναστασία Στυλιανίδου και ο Λέκτορας Ιδιωτικού Δικαίου στο Τμήμα Νομικής του Πανεπιστημίου Κύπρου, κ. Μιχάλης Χατζηπαναγιώτης.

*Στη παρουσίαση που συνοδεύει το παρόν κείμενο παρουσιάζεται ενδεικτική νομολογία του Δικαστηρίου της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, καθότι πρόκειται για ένα τομέα δικαίου με αρκετές τεχνικές λεπτομέρειες, πράγμα που σημαίνει πως η εκάστοτε περίπτωση κρίνεται ad hoc.”

New publication announcement

The lawyer of our office, Christiana Markou has written a chapter on data retention in Cyprus following relevant CJEU case law, which is finally out in a book titled “European Constitutional Courts towards Data Retention Laws” published by Springer. The chapter illustrates her views on the subject expressed in talks a few years ago, namely that Cypriot case law in the context of certiorari applications against court orders giving the police access to telecommunication and internet usage data has been developing in the wrong direction.

The chapter aims at describing the Cypriot data retention regime contained in Law 183(I)/2007, which transposes the Data Retention Directive into Cyprus law, as developed through case law from the transposition of the Directive to a very recent Supreme Court judgement. The latter judgement seems capable of putting an end to the wrong direction towards which case law has been heading so far and marking the beginning of a new era of data retention. The chapter starts with the period beginning with the introduction of Law 183(I)/2007 and ending with the 2014 CJEU ruling annulling the Data Retention Directive, and then proceeds with the period beginning with the said ruling and finishing with the 2018 Supreme Court judgement. It is demonstrated that the case law has wrongly regarded Law 183(I)/2007 as having remained unaffected by the annulling CJEU ruling and has thus continued upholding court orders allowing access to retained data even after a more recent CJEU judgement in which a general and indiscriminate data retention obligation has explicitly been stated to be incompatible with the EU Charter. The chapter finishes with a discussion on the possible practical effects of the 2018 Supreme Court judgement on data retention in Cyprus as well as on the possible upcoming amendments at national and the EU level, which should be expected to clearly set the boundaries of data retention and establish legal certainty. It should however been clarified that this chapter is based on the state of the relevant law as of April 2018. Developments have taken place during the publication process which prevented or delayed the change that the present author illustrates as possible following the 2018 Supreme Court decision. More specifically, the certiorari application filed in context of the relevant case has been withdrawn and the state of the law regarding data retention in Cyprus has remained unchanged. However, the matter is currently pending before the Supreme Court of Cyprus sitting as a full bench court and remains to be seen whether there will be a change of approach. It is hoped that a development at EU level, namely the decision of the CJEU in C-207/16 Ministerio Fiscal should not be taken as entailing a deviation of the European Court from its previous case law; said decision concerns a very specific question relating to access to data only and the CJEU expressly emphasizes in paragraph 49 of its judgement that the question before it did not concern with the legality of the retention of the data at all.

For more on the chapter and the book, you can visit the relevant web page of the publisher here:

Ακύρωση Απόρριψης Προσφοράς σε Διαγωνισμό Δημόσιας Σύμβασης

To διοικητικό δικαστήριο εξέδωσε στις 26/10/2020 την απόφαση του στην προσφυγή υπ’ αριθμό 1128/2016 που χειρίστηκε το γραφείο μας εκ μέρους της Αιτήτριας εργοληπτικής εταιρείας, η οποία αφορούσε σε απόφαση απόρριψης προσφοράς σε διαγωνισμό δημόσιας σύμβασης για την εκτέλεση κατασκευαστικού έργου. Η προσφυγή πέτυχε και η προσβαλλόμενη πράξη ακυρώθηκε στη βάση του ότι υπήρξε πλάνη περί τα πράγματα και παραβίαση των επιταγών του περί δημοσίων συμβάσεων νόμου.

Tourism Law in Europe and Latin America

On 23rd October of 2020, the Lawyer of our office Vasilis P. Antoniou participated in the International Web Conference on “Tourism Law in Europe and Latin America”. The conference was attended by a large number of speakers from EU Member States, as well as from Latin America, who analysed various aspects of the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Law in their countries.

Vasilis Antoniou, presented the legal framework of the Hotel-keepers strict liability, concerning the property of their guests in Cyprus and the EU. He briefly analysed the EU convention which regulates this issue and he also presented the Cypriot legal framework which ratifies and also includes the basic principles of the above convention, as well as the relevant Cypriot case law. Finally, he also participated in a live debate with speakers from other EU member states in which they briefly discussed issues arising nowadays due to COVID-19 pandemic, which has a serious impact both to the consumers and to all of the stakeholders of the tourism industry (airlines, travel agents etc.)

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