Judicial System



Cyprus is a common law jurisdiction, the legal system being a remnant of the island’s British colonial heritage. Cypriot law is reliant on precedent extracted from the English common law for stability and finality. To this effect Article 29 of the Courts Law of 1960 (Law no.14/1960) was enacted incorporating the English common law as well as the English principles of equity into the Cypriot legal system.  Cyprus employs a two tier Court system. The first tier is constituted by the District Court as the Court of first instance for civil matters and the Criminal Court as the Court of first instance for criminal matters. The second tier is the Supreme Court where leave to appeal resides as of right.

Monday, 03 December 2012 09:07
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What is an Interim Order or Interlocutory Injunction?

An Interim Order or Injunction is a decree made by a Court following an application from a party to a procedure that either compels someone to take an action or prevents someone from taking an action. An Interim Injunction is simply a Court Order that orders a party to do something or orders a party to refrain from doing something. One of the main reasons that Courts grant interim injunctions is to protect assets pending the determination of the main legal proceedings either in the form of Arbitration of Court action. Thus interim orders can be and are considered to be temporary measures effective, pending the settlement of a Court action or Arbitration award.

Monday, 03 December 2012 15:07

Which is the Civil Law applicable in Cyprus?

Section 29 of the Courts of Justice Law, 14/60 as amended provides for the Law which shall be applied in Civil and Criminal matters by the Courts. It is provided that each Court in the exercise of its Civil or Criminal jurisdiction shall apply the following laws:

a. The Constitution of the Republic and the Laws under it.

b. The Laws already applicable on independence.

c. The Common Law and the principles of Equity unless otherwise provided by the law or the Constitution.

d. The laws relating to Evkaf. (Turkish Religious Law).

e. The laws of the UK Parliament which were applicable in Cyprus immediately prior to independence unless otherwise provided by Law or the Constitution.

In addition under Article 1A of the Constitution and 179 as amended by Law 127 (i) 2006 (Sixth Amendment) supremacy is given to EU Law and Under Article 169.3 of the Constitution International Treaties, Conventions and Agreements have a superior force of Law on the basis of reciprocity. In the case of Aziz v Cyprus (2004), The European Court of Human Rights accorded priority to the Convention over the Cyprus Constitution. It remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court will accept this in case of conflict between EU Law and The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights.

Tuesday, 04 December 2012 07:36

What is Administrative Law?

Administrative Law is the set of rules of law relating to the legal means of action of the Public Administration and which regulate the organization and functioning of the State in the narrow sense and of the other bodies of public authority. Administrative Law is part of Public Law. Cypriot Administrative Law has been created and formatted according to the standards of the Greek Administrative Law, which in turn was developed based on the principles of the French Administrative Law. According to case-law of the Supreme Constitutional Court, in the exercise of its revisional jurisdiction, the Court applies the legal principles that are applicable at Continental Law. Nevertheless, there is also influence from the Anglo-Saxon Law.

Thursday, 06 December 2012 13:11
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Can foreign judgments be enforced in Cyprus?

A Foreign judgment has no direct operation in Cyprus but may however be enforced under European Union Regulations, Statute, Common Law, or may be recognised as a Defence to an action. Therefore, there is no unified system in Cyprus for the enforcement of foreign judgments. The general practice of Cypriot Courts is that they will assist in the enforcement of foreign judgments provided that the following requirements are met:

  • the foreign judgment has been issued by a court which has jurisdiction in accordance with Cypriot rules on conflict of laws
  • the enforcement of foreign judgments is not contrary to Cypriot Public policy
  • the foreign judgment has been made on merit and not according to procedure
  • the foreign judgment has not been obtained by fraud and
  • the proceedings which led to the issue of the foreign judgment were not contrary to the laws of natural justice.
Thursday, 06 December 2012 13:57
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Why would someone choose Arbitration as an alternative method of dispute resolution?

Arbitration is an essentially private contractually binding dispute resolution process conducted before an independent arbitrator or panel of arbitrators who act as the judge on the dispute before them.

Those who are appointed arbitrators and are asked to decide on matters before them, are appointed by the parties or an appointing body on the basis of their particular knowledge, expertise or experience in a particular field and of course their expected honesty and impartiality.

These attributes are perhaps the real reason why arbitration is often the preferred method of dispute resolution in technical disputes, disputes in particular industries or areas of commercial activities or where cross border transactions between counter parties who chose a neutral method, venue or jurisdiction where disputes can be resolved.

Arbitration, especially international arbitration, should be a speedy and efficient method of resolution of disputes in commercial relationships. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is popular in the construction, insurance, shipping and trade fields where expert arbitrators can draw on their expertise and knowledge in particular fields to produce the type of awards which should be enforceable, with limited need for the Courts to intervene either during or subsequent to the end of the arbitration process.

Thursday, 06 December 2012 14:16
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