Des projets d'amendements à la procédure pénale ont été
déposés, concernant notamment les écoutes téléphoniques. La médiation a
été introduite comme partie de la procédure civile.
The most important bills/regulations deposited before
the House of Representatives and enacted, or prepared and promoted in
the last two years are as follows:
The Government on the proposal of the Ministry of
Justice and Public Order adopted the bill amending the Evidence Law,
which was pending before the House of Representatives since 2002 and
supported its enactment. Important amendments were made particularly as
regards the rules for hearsay evidence. These amendments encompassing
the abolishment of the rule of non-adminissibility of hearsay evidence,
under conditions, are expected to contribute to a more effective
administration of justice.
The Criminal Procedure Law was amended aiming at
simplifying the procedure of collecting small fines, thus saving time
and public money.
Amendments to the Restoration of Offenders Law,
regulated more leniently the conditions under which, previous
convictions are struck off, especially as regards young persons up to
the age of 21.
A new Law prescribing the rights of persons during
arrest and detention and providing for the corresponding
responsibilities of the police authorities was enacted.
(a) In the field of Civil Procedure
elimination of delays in the Administration of Justice
The President of the Supreme
Court has informed me that for the purpose of expediting court
proceedings and eliminating delays in the administration of civil
justice a practice has been established in the District Courts (the
first instance Courts) whereby judges dispose part of their judicial
time in fixing for directions, after completion of the pleadings,
pending civil cases, on a particular day, at which an effort is made by
counsel for the parties in their presence and with the assistance of the
Court for reaching either an amicable settlement of the case or
narrowing the issues so that the hearing becomes shorter.
For example in cases of
claims for damages for personal injuries as a result of negligence an
effort is made to bring the parties to an agreement either on the amount
of pecuniary compensation or the apportionment of liability or both.
This procedure satisfies to
some extent the various Recommendations of the Council of Europe on
As a result of this practice
the majority of pending civil cases is finalised speedily by way of
settlement. The delay which sometimes occurs in a few cases is due to
the complexity of issues, the number of which however is minimal
compared to those concluded as above.
(b) In the field
The Ministry of Justice in
collaboration with the Attorney – General of the Republic are promoting
a Bill in the House of Representatives which is now under consideration
by the House, for the amendment of Article 17 of our Constitution, which
protects the secrecy of correspondence and other Communications so that
the amendment of our legislation on the matter becomes possible to
enable the police inter alia to obtain information from the appropriate
authorities regarding telephone or other communications of person
suspected for the commission of serious crimes, such as homicide,
trafficking of drugs, national security, public safety, the protection
of health or morals etc.
Article 17 of our
Constitution provides as follows:
1. Every person has the right to respect for, and
to the secrecy of, his correspondence and other communication if such
other communication is made through means not prohibited by law.
2. There shall be no interference with the
exercise of this right except in accordance with the law and only in
cases of convicted and unconvicted prisoners and business correspondence
and communication of bankrupts during the bankruptcy administration.
whereas Article 8 of the
European Convention of Human Rights provides as follows:
respect for private and family life
Everyone has the right to respect for his private and
family life, his home and his correspondence.
There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise
of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is
necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security,
public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the
prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals,
or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
The amendment of Article 17
of our Constitution will bring it in line with Article 8 of the European
Convention of Human Rights and will make possible the amendment of our