On Friday 18th June, the Supreme Court of Cyprus announced the adoption of new Rules of Civil Procedure. The Rules were finalised under the framework of a joint project of the Council of Europe and the European Union in cooperation with the Supreme Court.
The new Rules are one of the essential components of ongoing justice reform in Cyprus, which the Council of Europe together with the DG-REFORM, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Structural Reform Support, will continue to support. The Rules of Civil Procedure should contribute to better protection of the rights and freedoms as defined in the European Convention of Human Rights and further uphold the rule of law and strengthen judicial efficiency.
The Rules have existed in Cyprus since 1958 and have only been minimally revised since then. The new Rules should allow for important modernisation of the justice administration in civil cases. They should enable the courts to handle cases faster, at a proportionate cost, and more efficiently through introduction of new principles and procedures in the adjudication of civil cases. It is expected that the length of proceedings will reduce significantly as the judges will apply strict case management with attention to the time and deadlines.
As a Pan-European organisation with extensive expertise in the field of human rights and rule of law, the Council of Europe has been supporting, in close partnership with the European Union, the reform process in Cyprus as it does in all its member states. This example of successful cooperation project is due to strong commitment shown by the Cypriot partners.
“This is a leading example of how legal cooperation projects supported by the European Union uphold our common values and standards as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights”, said Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić. “We will further deploy our expertise to assist Cyprus in the ongoing reform to improve the efficiency of its judicial system”, she added.
The next phase of the Project envisages implementation of a comprehensive training program for judges, lawyers and registrars for explanation of the general context and the main changes in the Civil Procedure Rules before their entry into force.