Sweeping reforms at almost all levels recorded over the past 20 months, says Justice Minister
Outgoing Minister of Justice and Public Order, Stephie Drakos, presented her work at the Ministry over the past 20 months at a press conference held at the Presidential Palace, noting that during this period a series of sweeping reforms took place at almost all levels and areas of responsibility of the Ministry.
Starting with the justice sector, Drakos said that reforms must be continuous and adapt to new social and technological realities. The legislative work, she continued, is complemented by projects such as the e-justice system, which will be delivered in 2023, the digital audio recording set to be delivered by 2025 at the latest, the establishment of an independent Court Administration Service, whose completion is expected in the next two years, the Civil Procedure Rules and the Backlog Litigation Programme.
"Unfortunately there is no magic wand for the citizen to see the results immediately," she noted.
However, she added, "the Supreme Court is going ahead at a fast pace and indications make me optimistic that from this year to 2025 we will see the result and give citizens what is rightfully theirs, the swift and qualitative administration of justice," she noted.
Elsewhere in her presentation, Drakos said that she had promoted together with her European counterparts the migration issue and its instrumentalization by Turkey, the accession of Cyprus to the Schengen area and its access to the SIS information system, which will help in the fight against serious cross-border crime, adding that Cyprus is just one step away from securing access to this system.
She then said that human rights and equality issues were high on her agenda and for that reason, they listened to women, children, families and the LGBTI community. "We listened to the problems and identified the gaps and through radical reform proposals, we gave them the tools they need to feel safe and equal," she said.
Drakos said, among other things, that the fight against people trafficking was a separate effort, an area in which the Police played a major role. She added that after studying the gaps and weaknesses, they managed to secure 9 convictions for trafficking cases in 2022 and in combination with other intensive actions, the upgrading of Cyprus to Category 1 was achieved.