Cyprus courts will continue to operate but only for urgent cases

Cyprus courts will continue their work but will hear only urgent cases before them, both civil and criminal, in accordance with criteria the Supreme Court will announce later on Monday, its President Myronas Nicolatos has said.

Nicolatos was speaking to the press after a meeting between the members of the Supreme Court, Attorney General Costas Clerides, Justice and Public Order Minister George Savvides and President of the Cyprus Bar Association Doros Ioannides.

Nicolatos said that there had been “full cooperation” between all parties involved in the meeting, adding that “it was decided that in the context of the measures announced by the Government and in full respect of the decrees and regulations which have been issued, the courts will continue their work but will only hear urgent cases, both civil and criminal, in accordance with criteria which the Supreme Court will announce today.”

“We think that this will ease the problem of overcrowding in courts and that the danger of further spreading the coronavirus will be contained,” he pointed out.

Asked what will happen in courts handling cases concerning vulnerable groups of people such as the International Protection Court he said that “this matter will also be regulated.”

Replying to a question as to when this decision will be in effect from, he said “as of today.”

Attorney General Costas Clerides also said that during the meeting full understanding was shown and everyone’s views were heard, adding that “it has been decided to take agreed measures which will certainly be for the benefit of all those who have the right but also the obligation to appear before the courts and take part in the justice administration process.”

The key point, according to Clerides, is until a date which will be announced courts will hear cases “which are truly urgent or which cannot be postponed for other reasons.”

Replying to a question as to what Bills will have to be checked by the Legal Service in order for the extraordinary measures the Government has announced to be implemented, the Attorney General said that it is a matter for the executive power, adding that from what he understands a number of Bills are in the process of drafting and will then be sent to the Legal Service so that they can be checked.

Justice Minister George Savvides thanked the President and the Members of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General and the President of the Bar Association “for a very constructive discussion we had today.”

I believe, he pointed out that the important thing which came out of the meeting is that “we are guaranteeing that the judicial power, as an important pillar of any state where the rule of law is upheld, will continue to operate.”

At the same time, Savvides added, differentiations will be made in the courts’ areas so that they are in line with the measures which have been announced by the Government.

On his part, Ioannides spoke of an “excellent cooperation” with the Minister, the Attorney General and the Supreme Court, which “has ultimately bears the final responsibility.”

Source: Cyprus News Agency