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12° Nicosia,
05 February, 2023
 
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Lawyers in Cyprus oppose backlog regulations

Supreme Court says Bar Association agreed to expedite cases, lawyers fear reform could cause unfairness

Newsroom

Lawyers in the Republic Cyprus are planning a demonstration against regulations aimed at expediting backlogged court cases, amid efforts by the state to speed up one of the world’s slowest administration of justice.

According to local media, attorneys across districts in the Republic of Cyprus will leave courtrooms and stand outside courthouses for two hours on Thursday morning, between 9:30am and 11:30am, to protest against regulations aimed at reducing backlog of cases from 2014 to 2018 that are still pending.

Some 25,000 cases are said to be delayed within the Greek Cypriot court system, with the problem recently being tackled by the Supreme Court that reportedly agreed with organized lawyers to take measures to help expedite procedures.

Court delays have been a thorny issue for Cyprus where companies and foreign entrepreneurs have accused the system of being unfriendly to businesses that seek just ways in settling disputes

But the Cyprus Bar Association came out with an announcement this week saying fast-track procedures could become a basis for unfair trials and case dismissals, arguing that attorneys were not at fault for the long delays.

Court delays have been a thorny issue for Cyprus where companies and foreign entrepreneurs have accused the system of being unfriendly to businesses that seek just ways in settling disputes.

According to the European Commission, the Greek Cypriot justice system faces “serious efficiency problems” as civil, commercial, and administrative cases take a long time to be resolved in the lower courts.

Justice reform has been a tough issue on the government in the Republic of Cyprus, with comprehensive efforts also stumbled, prompting the highest court in the land to step in with proposed regulations.

A few weeks ago Chief Justice Antonis R. Liatsos said the court case backlog could be solved to a significant extent within four to five years if specific reform bills that passed the House could be implemented.

But lawyers, many of whom will stand outside the Supreme Court in Nicosia on Thursday, are backing a decision by CBA that calls on an expert task force to suggest amendments to the regulations.

CBA is also planning to call on district presidents of the organization to prepare reports within their local chapters aimed at reducing backlogs in their districts.

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