Nausica Gabielides
Nausica Gabielides campaign leader

I have the best news to share with you all!
Finally, after 13 court appearances and almost 3 years since our fateful 'walk in the park' with Felix the court came to a decision on the 22nd January 2015..... and I was acquitted! The court ruled against the Forestry Department and essentially threw the case out based on the arguments of our defence! I am thrilled!
THE LEGAL CASE
I do not wish to drag on with all the legal details, and anyway I am not qualified to do so, I just want to give you the 2 points you need to get your dogs to the park!
Now the whole thing started as you already know when I asked the park ranger to explain to me based on which Law was he asking us to leave the park, and he didn't have an answer except to say that the Regulations forbid it. So here's to doing your homework.
Before I start please note that a Law takes legal precedence over Regulations (which can only be published based on a Law), and I was accused based on the Forestry Regulations Κ.Δ.Π. 32/95.
The Forestry Law N.25(I)/12 article 36 states that no person which is not authorised by the Law or the Forestry Regulations and who is acting without the authority of the Director of the Forestry Department can allow the entrance of animals OR their grazing in land of the Forestry Department.
However the definition of 'animal' in the Forestry Law goes on to specify: goats, sheep, cattle, horses, donkeys, swines and their offspring.
The real intention of article 36 is made clear when reading articles 2 + 3 of the same Law which aim for the protection of the balance of the natural habitat of the flora of the Forest and grazing animals will destroy this.
There is no mention of dogs. In addition dogs do not graze. This is perhaps the most important point from the whole case and you should USE it when taking your dog responsibly for a walk in Athalassa Park should you be cautioned. One must take into account the Dogs Law N.184(I)/2002 in particular articles 18(ε)(ii) and (iii) which state that as long as the person who has the dog keeps them on a leash and in addition collects their faeces they are in within the law in any public space.
Lastly there is a whole argument based on whether the Regulations in question where lawfully published but it is a complex legal discussion best left to the experts.
Should you be cautioned please mention that you reserve the right to walk your dog in a responsible way in the Park based on the Court Decision of 22/01/2015 of the Forestry Department vs Nausica Gabrielides though bear in mind that an appeal is pending as provided below.
THE APPEAL
I was hoping that I might send out a 'Victory Email' (that's what Causes.com calls it) and close the campaign.
However that was not to be and on 21/02/2015 I was served the appeal at home.
Unfortunately therefore there will be no victory email although this is a victory, as I need have a way to communicate with you the continuation of the case and the decision of the Supreme Court (which is final but years away).

WHAT THIS MEANS
Pending the decision of the Supreme Court, the only decision which stands in the meantime is this one so please DO take your dogs for a walk but BE responsible please. Dogs and most importantly their owners still need to behave as per the Dogs Law N.184(I)/2002 articles 18(ε)(ii) & (iii).
Keep your dogs on a leash, and pick up their faeces. Let's show everyone that we can all be civilised and walk side by side in the park whether alone, with kids, friends and/or our furry friends.

THANK YOU
Thank you all for all the support, please keep sharing and supporting! We will need all the lobbying we can get for later on!
We shouldn't always take no for an answer, especially when it feels wrong. It's important to stand up for what we believe in. I know that if Felix was still around he'd be yapping at the door to get back out to Athalassa Park!

Yv

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