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Tornarites Kriton

Kriton Tornarites, a luminous advocate, law book writer and general attorney of Cyprus for many years comes from Kato Platres.

Tornarites studied law at the University of Athens. In 1923, he graduated with excellent scores and became a doctor of law. From 1924 until 1940, he worked as a lawyer in Limassol. He also worked as a member of the district educational committee from 1927 until 1930 and from 1930 until 1940 as a curator of Greek schools in Limassol.

From 1940 until 1042, he served as district attorney in Nicosia, and from 1942 until 1944, as president of the district court in Nicosia. It is worth mentioning that Kriton Tornaritis was the first Cypriot to work as the president of the district court, as it was ruled by the English. During the same time Tornaritis continued his studies in Law in Great Britain, at “Gray’s Inn of London, where he became a Barrister-at law (1946)”.

In the meantime, in 1944, he was appointed general vice-attorney of Cyprus. He served this post until 1952, when he was assigned district attorney. It must be mentioned that during the Liberation Struggle against English domination (1955-1959), he did not practice his occupation, because, as noted in the Biographical lexicon, “he was detached to the Ministry of Colonies as its legal advisor”. During the same time, he also worked “as a member of the committee for the revision of Cyprus Legislation”.

According to the Great Cypriot Encyclopedia, in 1957, Tornaritis was a member of the British mission sent to the exile Archbishop Makarios, “so as to explain the Britih suggestions of Lord Radcliff. Makarios told the English, through Tornaritis and another British member, that he could not discuss anything while being on exile”.

In the Biographical Lexicon of Aristides Koudounaris, it is noted that he “was a friend and coworker of Archbishop Makarios. They met when the latter was still Eparch of Kiti”.

During the time 1959-1960, Tornaritis was one of the legal advisors of the “Constitutive Committee responsible for the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus”.

In 1960, when Cyprus was declared an independent Republic, Tornaritis continued serving his post as general attorney until 1984, “when he retired”.

Kriton Tornaritis “was established internationally as an exquisite lawyer”. He represented Cyprus in international law conferences, international meetings and organizations”.

His writings are considered important. He published books and articles on legal issues. There is also a great numbers of works written in the “Greek and English language”. The fragment following describes his writing course in the Biographical Lexicon:

“He wrote many things, especially on legal issues. He wrote 65 books and 5000 projects. He wrote for Kirix and Aletheia since he first became a lawyer.…An important part of his work is found in Cypriot newspapers and scientific journals”.


Aristidis Koudounaris, Biographical Lexicon of Cypriots 1800-1920, Nicoisa, 1991
Great Cypriot Encyclopedia, Ed. Philocypros



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