Author Archives: ribka

Reporting Formalities for Ships Arriving and Departing From the Republic of Cyprus

download (8)The Department of Merchant Shipping has updated its guidelines to operators of ships calling at ports in the Republic of Cyprus concerning reporting procedures under EU Reporting Formalities Directive and the Reporting Formalities for Ships Arriving-Departing from Ports of the Republic Law of 2012 (148 (I)/2012).

All the necessary information shall be provided online via the SafeSeaNet platform. SafeSeaNet is a European platform for maritime data exchange between EU member states and maritime authorities. Precisely, it is an Internet solution based on the concept of a distributed database. SafeSeaNet has developed a Community ship traffic monitoring and information system following the Directive 2002/59/EC. This Directive applies to vessels of 300 gross tonnage and upwards.

The primary objective of SafeSeaNet is to assist the gathering, dissemination and harmonised exchange of maritime data. Moreover, it facilitates the communication between authorities at a local/ regional level and central authorities. Therefore, it contributes to preventing accidents at sea and maritime pollution.

Under Article 6 of the “Reporting Formalities Directive” (2010/65/EU) and the Section 6 of the Reporting Formalities for Ships Arriving-Departing from Ports of the Republic Law of 2012, information related to ships calls, must be provided through the SafeSeaNet online platform.

Precisely, ships arriving/departing from the Republic of Cyprus must provide the following notifications via SafeSeaNet platform:

  • Notification prior to entry into the ports of member-states, under section 6 of the Merchant Shipping Laws of 2004-2012;
  • Notification of dangerous or polluting goods carried on board, section 15 of the Merchant Shipping Laws of 2004-2012;
  • Notification of Waste and Residues under the Port Reception Facilities for Ship-generated Waste and Cargo Residues Regulations, 2003;
  • Notification of Security Information following the provisions of Article of 6 of Regulation (EC) No. 725/2004.
  • Notification 72 hours prior to arrival, the actual time of arrival and the actual time of departure (estimated), following the provisions of sections 12 and 25 of Merchant Shipping (Port State Control) Laws of 2011-2015.

The Circular 13/2016, issued by the Department of Merchant Shipping, underlines that the operator/master/agent of a ship must provide the Cyprus Ports Authorities a summary regarding waste/residues and security information, 24 hours prior to the expected time of arrival at the port or anchorage or immediately on departure from a foreign port, in case the duration of the voyage is less than 24 hours.

Notably, the Waste and Residues Notification must include the following details: last port delivered, last delivered day and delivery status. The Security Notification contains information on Security Level. For more details, please contact one of our lawyers.

What Sets Great Lawyers Apart From the Rest?

download (6)Abraham Lincoln once said that a lawyer “has a superior opportunity of being a good person. There will be business enough.” The requirements for obtaining the professional distinction have changed considerably since Lincoln’s time. While he was only required to obtain an Illinois court document vouching for his “moral character,” today’s attorneys typically undertake several years of rigorous study and must pass difficult exams to practice their skill professionally. However, Lincoln’s sentiment can serve as a grounding principle for legal professionals. Above all, lawyers must trust in the law’s ability to maintain and improve society and act as an agent for justice. That said, the modern attorney needs a very specific skill set that includes the following essential qualities.

Negotiation

The ability to negotiate is arguably the most coveted skill a litigator can possess. Crushing the competition may be the chosen approach of a business leader or athletic coach, but it’s unlikely to yield the best result in a legal dispute. A talented negotiator takes the expectations of all parties into account and positions him or herself creatively to achieve an outcome that everyone can live with.

Verbal Skills

It’s a given that studying law requires thousands of pages of reading and tons of writing, but the best lawyers are those with an exceptional command of all phases of verbal communication. Their reading comprehension must match their efficiency, meaning they can rapidly sift through a large volume of text and accurately find pertinent information. On the writing side of the equation, drafting briefs accurately and quickly requires advanced skills. Their ability to communicate with colleagues and clients clearly and concisely should not be undervalued either.

Presentation Ability

Lawyers may spend much of their time navigating briefs, documents, and correspondence behind the scenes, but truly effective ones are those who can steal the spotlight when the time comes. An attorney should be able to capture attention with both spontaneous performances and well-prepared presentations. Specifically in trial situations, facts might not speak loudly enough for themselves, and it is counsel’s job to illuminate important points through demonstration.

Logic and Analysis

Good counsel always maintains a personal distance from the situation at hand and relies on impartial judgment to find the best course of action. One cannot succeed in the legal profession without the ability to see past personal feelings and biases that can cloud logical thinking.

Passion

Though it may counter the previous statement, a passion for justice and a spirit of perseverance in the name of the client can set great lawyers apart from those just going through the motions. Practicing law is a demanding calling, and lacking an outstanding commitment to the profession can make for a mediocre attorney.

Anti-Piracy Law In Cyprus

download (9)Cyprus is one of the most important maritime locations in the world. Precisely, Cyprus is the third biggest maritime fleet in the EU and the tenth biggest fleet in the world. The ideal geographical location of Cyprus between Europe, Asia and Africa and the considerable tax incentives constitute the island a market leader in ship management activities. Shipping is one of the most important sectors of the Cyprus economy. Therefore, maritime security is an essential topic that needs to be addressed. That is to say, it is mandatory for ship-owners to protect their vessels when sailing to dangerous areas.

The Protection of Cyprus Flag Ships from Acts of Piracy and other Unlawful Acts Law (77(I) 2012) provides the necessary legal guidelines for Ship owners, Bareboat Charterers and Ship-managers concerning the measures they need to take when they sail to High-Risk Areas and how they can employ private armed security personnel. In addition, it provides a legal framework concerning the engagement of Private Ship Security Companies (PSSC). It should be mentioned that the Law 77(I)/2012 is applicable internationally.

Security and Protection of the Ships:

The master of the ship and the ship’s operator are obliged to implement the required measures, in accordance with the provisions of SOLAS chapter XI-2, the ISPS Code and Regulation (EC) No. 725/2004 in order to ensure and maintain the security of the vessel and prevent unlawful acts.

According to Section 5(2), the master of the ship, the ship’s personnel and the other individuals on board of the ship may, separately or together, act in order to prevent an unlawful act. In other words, the master of the ship, the ship’s personnel and the other persons on board of the ship, when the ship sails in high-risk areas, may, separately or jointly, use every means so that to prevent an unlawful act that may threaten the security of the ship, or their physical integrity or lives, or may lead to the kidnapping of persons on board the ship.

Duty to Inform the Competent Authority:

The master of the ship and the ship’s operator have the obligation to report immediately to the Competent Authority any unlawful act or attempt to commit an unlawful act and to provide detailed information in regards to that act. In Cyprus, the competent authority is the Department of Merchant Shipping. Furthermore, the operator has to inform and keep updated the relatives of hostages and those injured as a result of an unlawful act.

 

Revenge Photos

download (4)Because of technology being what it is, new crimes emerge from time to time, and one of the new crimes that hasn’t been completely absorbed into the various criminal justice systems around the world is that of the revenge photo.

This is the misuse of nude or provocative pictures taken and exchanged between two people in a loving relationship. After the relationships splits up, one partner uses these photos to humiliate the other one.

For example, a lady that was known as Sandra found out one day that her ex-boyfriend had viciously posted nude photos of her on Facebook! The photos went viral and were shared across many social media platforms. Once the cat’s out of the bag in social media, you can’t control how many places the photo can show up, and this can go on indefinitely.

In some areas, there are laws against posting this kind of photo even if nude or pornographic photos are allowed on a particular platform, because the “model” did not consent to having the pictures displayed publicly. In one case, the laws were so lax that the woman who was victimized actually had her chest copyrighted so she could use copyright laws to force the removal of nude pictures of herself.

Some social platforms, such as Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and Instagram, have policies against this kind of revenge, but even when they do, their customer service may not be as attentive as they could be. Therefore, people can send email after email requesting the photos be removed without hearing any response.

In some areas of the world, there are laws on the books that could be used to protect the victims even if there are no laws specifically targeting revenge photos. For example, in parts of the US, there are civil laws against coercion, stalking, and harassment, so it may be possible to use the civil courts to remove the photos even though there has been no crime under current law. Many other places are passing new legislation specifically targeting these revenge photos because a person’s whole life can be disrupted, knowing that he or she can be recognized anywhere and even barred from getting certain jobs because of the photos.

Exchanging photos between two members of a committed, loving relationship can go horribly wrong when the relationship goes sour and one party has neither the respect, dignity, or ethics to let it go gracefully. Even though it reflects poorly on the character of the perpetrator, the victim is normally the one who suffers the most. Laws with mandatory financial punishments may help perpetrators think twice about posting revenge photos. Sometimes the perp might actually make money by distributing the photos, but money is not usually the motivation.

While the victim knows exactly who the perpetrator is, it might take some investigation to prove it, and this is often where we would enter the picture to help track down where the photos are going and who’s responsible for releasing them.

The Injustice Of Jury Duty

download (5)If you commit a crime, you have the right to a fair trial in which the court decides whether the government has the right to lock you up. But if you don’t commit a crime, the government has the right to “lock” you up (in a jury room) against your will and force you to render a decision as to whether the government has the right to lock up some one else who has committed a crime. Is there something wrong with this picture?

Jury duty is essentially community service for people who haven’t committed a crime.

About a half million people a year in New York State alone are subjected to jury duty. A great portion of them do not want to serve. To many of them it’s everything from a gross inconvenience to a physical hardship to emotional torment. And all this, for what? A voluntary jury system would do just as well as, if not better than, a mandatory jury system.

We have a robust military despite the fact that it’s voluntary and despite its inherent dangers. Why does anyone think people would not apply for jury duty if it were voluntary?

We give lip service to the notion of giving a person accused of a crime a fair trial. But the current jury system is anything but fair. Does anyone know how many jurors on a given case are actually paying attention to the court proceedings? Take for example someone who’s going through a bad divorce. He’s worried about losing his kids, losing his house, how to deal with lawyers, and how his estranged wife is strangling him financially and emotionally. All this is not enough to get him out of jury duty.

So if someone with such a disheveled state of mind sits on a jury, what on earth do you think he’ll be thinking about? The case in front of him? If he wanted to he probably couldn’t do it!

What about someone with a very sick close relative? He’s likely preoccupied with doctors, treatments, hospitals, medicines, etc. All this is also not enough to get him out of jury duty, as long as someone is currently taking care of that relative. Will he be able to get all this out of his mind to focus on a court case? Not very likely.

Then there are people with all sorts of ailments — chronic headaches, backaches, abdominal distress, flatulation, muscle cramps, knee pain, etc. — which are not severe enough to incapacitate them yet intense enough to make their lives miserable. They must also serve on jury duty. Such maladies can sometimes be disturbing enough to keep people from focusing on simple, everyday chores. They’re going to sit on a jury and pay attention to what’s going on? Gimme a break!

It’s not only adversities that interfere with one’s focusing on extraneous matters. People who run a business, for example, are plucked out of their lives and told, in effect, to stop thinking of their business and focus on a trial. Really? People can actually redirect their thoughts that easily? Who are we kidding?

And how about people who are just so irate over being forced to serve as a juror that they just don’t give a darn about what’s going on in the courtroom. I spoke to one guy who was a juror on a murder trail. He said he didn’t care which way the verdict went, he just wanted to go home!

This is justice? On what sick planet is this justice???

An uninvolved juror is worse than an empty seat. Empty seats don’t vote.

Isn’t it logical to assume that a juror who actually requested to serve would be more inclined to pay attention to a court proceeding than a juror who is being forced to appear?

Why in the world are we forcing people into mandatory jury duty, which is nothing but an irritant to many people and a gross injustice to those who’s life may literally depend on the votes of jurors who are physically in the courtroom but mentally elsewhere?

The mandatory jury system must be abolished! Serving as a juror is only your “civic duty” because it’s the law. If they repeal the law it’s no longer your civic duty. A voluntary jury system would be a win-win situation. The general public would be happier with it and people on trial would finally get true justice.

Five Things a Private Investigator Should Not Do for You

download (3)A Private Investigator has an interesting niche. Categorized as neither police nor entirely civilian, a PI can do certain things that police and civilians can’t. Let’s explore some of the things your PI should NOT be doing for you. If you find that he or she is, get out of your contract with them as quickly as you can and terminate the relationship.

1. A Private Investigator Can’t Break the Law.

For many people who believe everything they see on TV, a PI is a mysterious character who can take great liberties with the law in their country or jurisdiction. You’ve probably seen PI’s kidnap, hold people by force, beat up people to get them to talk, bribe officers, break into buildings, impersonate persons of authority to get others to talk, break into windows, photograph records without a warrant, etc. Basically, if it’s against the law, a PI can’t do it, even though there are certain privileges in some countries that come with being a PI.

2. A Private Investigator Can’t Wiretap and Is Not a Spy.

It’s illegal to record phone calls and conversations without informing the person being recorded, especially in environments where the person has a legal expectation of privacy. A PI might be more likely to be in a place where he can overhear certain conversations, because a PI can be on private property listening in as long as it’s not in violation of the law. If your PI is told to leave the property, either verbally or by a “No Trespassing” sign, and ignores that request, your PI is violating the trespassing laws. If you find out that your PI is recording people without their knowledge and you’re paying the investigator, terminate the contract immediately.

3. It’s Illegal for a Private Investigator to Impersonate.

If your investigator goes into a hospital, dons surgical scrubs, parades into a patient’s room, and proceeds to read the patient’s chart, that PI has just broken the law. Sure, you’ve seen it on TV shows, but that doesn’t make it legal and (hopefully) you won’t see any behavior like this in real life. Besides, it’s usually much easier to simply go to the hospital room, strike up a conversation with the patient, and get permission to glance at the chart. In real life, there’s almost always an easier, less dramatic way to get things done.

4. Your PI Must Not Trespass.

As stated above, your PI can’t break and enter, ignore “Keep Out” signs, steal evidence from any location, or just generally act sleazy. It only works in TV and movies.

5. Your PI Must Not Commit Battery.

If your PI grabs someone by the arm and tries to detain him or her, your PI is committing battery. Your PI will not get into nearly the number of fights you might expect him to. Your PI will use powers of observation and communication, not force.

With all these restrictions, you might wonder how much of the intelligence is gathered. It can be at the library, or via a series of interviews, talking with informants, and plain old surveillance. A PI usually tries to stay low profile, so communication skills are a must.

What CAN a Private Investigator Do?

1. In some countries, an officer cannot approach a private residence without reason.

That’s not true of a PI. The PI is certainly welcome to stroll up to the door just like any citizen, which makes it much easier for that PI to overhear certain conversations. While he might not be able to record them, it’s certainly okay to take notes. But the minute he’s detected and asked to leave, he must comply.

2. A PI Has Access to Certain Records that the Public Can’t Get.

This does depend on the country but in some cases a PI can access certain databases of banks, cell phones, property, and background checks that the general public can’t see. The only restriction is that the access needs to relate to a case that the PI is currently investigating. The PI is not a sworn officer, but there are some areas of trust that come if there is licensing.

3. A PI Can Stay Neutral in a Partnership.

Whether it’s a business or marriage partnership, a PI can be hired by one of the partners to investigate the other. There is no legal obligation to be loyal to both.

I hope this has been a fun glimpse into the life of a PI and what the PI can and shouldn’t do to help you with your case.

 

Secure Your Documents Now

download (2)We all want our lives to be in order, and when we document the correct bits of information and find the proper storage modality for them, we create order and peace of mind.

Here are some categories of information you’ll need to store and where.

Life Records – Store in Safe Deposit Box

These are records that would be hard to replace if lost, and in some cases, could be harmful if in the wrong hands. For example, it might not be terribly difficult to replace a government ID card such as the social security cards provided in the U.S., but an identity thief would be delighted to have yours.

Here are some examples of life records: Birth, Death, Marriage, Naturalization, Military Service, Adoption, Divorce, and Dissolution records. In the USA, Social Security and Medicare cards.

Other examples include proof of ownership: Titles to house, car, boat, or camper are included here. You also may have proof of authenticity for paintings, works of art, or jewelry. You may have a copyright for a book or other intellectual property, or a patent for something you invented. You also may be in possession of a note (record of money someone else owes you). Your original stocks, bonds, and mutual fund purchase records can be stored here (if not at the broker’s office).

Original signed contracts or copies can also be kept in your safe deposit box, such as pre-nuptial agreements, wills, Living Trusts, insurance policies, lease agreements, and payment schedules for notes or mortgages. If you have financial records stored at the broker’s office or elsewhere, you’ll need a list of everything and where it’s stored.

You also might make a video of all your possessions and store an electronic copy in your safe deposit box along with an itemized list of the purchase price, date of purchase, purchase price, and current value of each item in your video.

Now that almost everything can be stored electronically, it’s very important to keep copies in separate locations. If you have a house fire that destroys your computer, that won’t be so devastating if your backup storage is located in the safe deposit box or a storage unit far from home. And those backup storages should be changed out on a fairly frequent basis to minimize loss.

Note that you’ll get two keys to the safe deposit box, so give one copy to a trusted person who doesn’t live with you. In case of your incapacity, a house fire, or a natural disaster, the other key won’t be destroyed and the holder of that copy will be able to access your records and take care of things for you.

Active Records – Store at Home

You have some records that are in use or may be in use at any given time. These include unpaid bills, resumes, recommendation letters, insurance policies, transcripts and diplomas, an inventory of everything in your safe deposit box, your bank books, a list of all your bank accounts and holdings, your business records if you work from home, and contact information of a person who can step in for you if you’re incapacitated. You’ll also want your burial instructions, warrantees, and guarantees in your active records.

Inactive Records – Store at Home

This is where you’ll store paid bills, cancelled cheques, past tax returns, past employment records, and family health records that may help you if you find yourself with a genetic condition.

Some of these items have been listed under two categories. That means that they could be stored in either location, or that you might consider taking a photocopy of at least the most important pages of those documents and storing them in two places.

Make sure and go through all your records at least once a year and possibly twice, mainly so you can find everything you need instantly and also so you can toss out or shred items you no longer need. Experts recommend January as a good time, since that’s the time you’re going to gather your tax information.

I hope you enjoy this list as well as the sense of satisfaction you feel when you get completely organized!

 

Lemon Laws Are Applicable For Cars Available For Resale

download (1)Even if your car has become old, you can protect from any damage by getting it insured under Lemon Laws. Generally, used cars are nominated under the Lemon Law. But recently, the government has issued new laws, which covers only new cars under this Law. However, there are certain exceptions to this law.

A used car can be covered under Lemon Law only if the owner of a car has documented express warranty, which has details pertaining to the number of years left for the warranty to lapse, and other details specifying whether the warranty of the car has been extended during the purchase, duly certified by the dealer. Having such documented proves will make sure that you are not violating any law and at the same time, your car will be protected under the Lemon Law.

Protection for owners having used cars under Lemon Laws

Owing to a lot of controversies arising during the purchase of used cars, the governments of many countries have passed legislative laws to protect the consumers against any fraud and to curb consumers problems related to the purchase of used cars.

The lemon laws were devised in the public interest. Under this law, a car can be certified based on its condition and mileage. According to the clauses of this law, if a defect is found in the car within the warranty period then the dealer must take the sole responsibility to fix the problem. Even if the problem persists for three times or more, the consumer can either demand his money back or change the car.

Other states have also devised laws for the sale of used cars which specify some requirements, including proper inspection and warranty from all the sellers. Until these prerequisites are met by the used car, the owner cannot sell such a car.

Protection Consumer Laws to stop fraudulent acts of sale of used cars

State protection laws have been enacted by many state legislatures, according to which, a dealer must answer all the queries the customer has before the purchase of the car. If the answers are found to be incorrect after the purchase of the car, the customer has the power to make a claim against the dealership. Some state legislatures also make it mandatory for the dealer to disclose all facts related to the car, even if it is not asked by customers. These facts include whether the car was ever used for rental or demonstration purpose.

Thus, if you are on a lookout to buy a used car then follow these guidelines well to avoid being cheated by smart salespersons that trick you to buy a worthless car.

 

Get Redressal On The Consumer Court Online Complaint Registration Forum

downloadIn the present-day era, protecting and safeguarding the interests of the consumers has become the main concern of the sovereign government of India. The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 is a government regulation that defends the interests of consumers. The Central Government of India requires business establishments to reveal the detailed information about products, specifically the areas where safety or public health is an issue, for e.g. food. Consumer protection is connected to the idea of consumer rights and this help consumers to make better choices in the marketplace. The government is a body which has the authority, the power to enforce laws within civil, corporate, academic, religious or some other groups. In a broader sense to govern means to manage or administer a group of people or a collection of assets.

Some features of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 are as follows
(I) This act has been enacted to provide relief to the aggrieved consumers.
(ii) It is one of the compassionate social legislation projected to protect the large body of consumers from exploitation.
(iii) The act proposes the establishment of a central consumer protection council and the state consumer protection councils with an intention of spreading consumer awareness.
(iv) Adoption of uniform procedure in the hearing of the matters
(v) Speedy grant of the copies of documents.

Consumer Court Online Complaint Registration is simple and hassle free. Consumers can lodge their complaints instantly. The best aspect is that in an online Consumer Forum, people will get significant reviews as well. The Consumer Grievance Forum is a registered organization under society registration act. It has been operating in all the states of India. The main objective is to protect customers from adulteration, over rating and to ensure quality in goods and services.

The Consumer Court Online Complaint Registration Cell provides following services to its consumers
(I) Counseling and consultation
(ii) Taking up individual complaints
(iii) Participating in various consultative and advisory bodies of the government and government agencies
(iv) Organizing periodical meetings for educating the customers.
(v) Taking up the consumer disputes through the consumer courts.
(vi) Distributing consumer related literature time to time depending on availability of funds

In view of budding consumerism in India, the voluntary forum should also come out to redress the grievances of consumers. The Consumer court online complaint registration center has the authorization to take efficient and prompt action and also has an exclusive jurisdiction to deal with the woes of the consumers.

 

Do a Quick Search for Any Inmate

images (1)There are some situations where you need to find some information about a convicted person. This should not be a problem. You can get easy and conveniently free inmate locator/search services online. These services can help when doing research on criminals’ background information. These services also come handy for persons who need to get information on details about prisoners transferred between facilities

All you need is have is the essential details about the prisoner for example their name and the system would bring back detailed feedback about inmate. This could include their full names, any aliases, mugshot photos and contact information. You also get to know criminal offences they supposedly committed, charges prison facility they are located. This could be useful information for persons who would like to know about how to visit them while they are in prison. You could also find out about bail details in case you would like to post it for them.

Another advantage of doing an online search is that you are able to find out more information about the correctional facility. This includes details on the rules and regulations to be observe in the facility. You also get contact information about the facility. This, coupled with the rules, can help you when planning to visit the convict. Chances that you get turned away at the gate or your email being trashed just because you did not meet the rules are hence reduced.

In case you need to find out the type of offence for which one is convicted, you need not worry. It is possible to get court conviction records and the type of facility they were sent to. You are thus able to identify whether the person committed. State crime include homicide, robbery assault, burglary or sexual battery. Federal offences, on the other hand, include international money laundering, identity theft, drug trafficking and gun crimes among others.

Information on those sent to jail would also differ in some way from in prison. One major difference is time. Jail inmates spend up to a maximum of one year. They also include persons awaiting transportation to a state or federal penitentiary. You can also check if a jail inmate has been involved in any work release programs such as boot camps or home weekend visits. Reviewing of the inmate’s past criminal history is also possible.

Prison inmates comprise of persons guilty of felonies that carry charges that include sentences of over one year. These persons have previously served multiple jail terms for several different offences. Their record often include a complete incarceration history including the different authorities under who individual has been detained before. Maybe you would like to conduct a complete background check on the individual. I am sure will be pleased to hear that the prison inmates’ records also include all the case numbers of every single incarceration event in the past. Parole eligibility notices will also be viewable in these records.

Another added advantage of using online searches is that it is reduces time spent moving from office to office trying to find record about a single person. You can even refine your search in case you know the specific state that the convict is imprisoned in. The online search platforms often comes with drop boxes that help in refining your inmate locating process. These include refining by gender and by state. You can thus make your work well cut out.

Inmate records not only help in finding more about the persons past. Most jails and prisons require that prisoners pay a daily fee for food and housing utilities. They also have canteens where the inmates can purchase personal hygiene items and snacks. However, the inmates are never allowed to carry cash. This may lead to the brooding of illegal trading activities among the prisoners. The money is often deposited in jail accounts created for them upon incarceration. You can use several ways to send the money based on how the facilities rules and regulations allow. Different facilities have set up online means of sending money to these accounts. Such means are often the only means of sending the money but are safety is usually a guarantee.

Other useful data found on such websites are the inmates’ date of incarceration, pending charges and the anticipated release date. Such information helps you keeps tabs as you await to see the person upon release.