Cyprus Constitution

Factbook > Countries > Cyprus > Government

Constitution: history: ratified 16 August 1960; note - in 1963, the constitution was partly suspended as Turkish Cypriots withdrew from the government; Turkish-held territory in 1983 was declared the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"); in 1985, the "TRNC" approved its own constitution
amendments: constitution of the Republic of Cyprus - proposed by the House of Representatives; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the total membership of the “Greek Community” and the “Turkish Community”; however, all seats of Turkish Cypriot members have remained vacant since 1964; amended several times, last in 2016
constitution of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” - proposed by at least 10 members of the Assembly of the Republic; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the total Assembly membership and approval by referendum; amended 2014

Definition: This entry provides information on a country’s constitution and includes two subfields, history and amendments. The history subfield includes the dates of previous constitutions and the main steps and dates in formulating and implementing the latest constitution. For countries with 1-3 previous constitutions, the years are listed; for those with 4-9 previous, the entry is listed as “several previous,” and for those with 10 or more, the entry is “many previous.” The amendments subfield summarizes the process of amending a country’s constitution – from proposal through passage – and the dates of amendments, which are treated in the same manner as the constitution dates.

The main steps in creating a constitution and amending it usually include the following steps: proposal, drafting, legislative and/or executive branch review and approval, public referendum, and entry into law. In many countries this process is lengthy. Terms commonly used to describe constitutional changes are “amended,” “revised,” or “reformed.” In countries such as South Korea and Turkmenistan, sources differ as to whether changes are stated as new constitutions or are amendments/revisions to existing ones.

A few countries including Canada, Israel, and the UK have no single constitution document, but have various written and unwritten acts, statutes, common laws, and practices that, when taken together, describe a body of fundamental principles or established precedents as to how their countries are governed. Some special regions (Hong Kong, Macau) and countries (Oman, Saudi Arabia) use the term “basic law” instead of constitution.

A number of self-governing dependencies and territories such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and Gibraltar (UK), Greenland and Faroe Islands (Denmark), Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten (Netherlands), and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (US) have their own constitutions.

Source: CIA World Factbook - This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

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