JUSTICE Minister Ionas Nicolaou pledged to found a school for judges, aiming to train jurists on specific issues, and prepare a bill giving citizens access to public documents, Paphos technical chamber chief Andreas Demetriades said on Friday.
Following a meeting with the minister, Demetriades said the citizen should have the right to track a request to government departments, as well as review any documents prepared in connection to it and obtain copies of such documents.
Nicolaou told the Paphos chamber that the judicial system is being overhauled according to the Irish model, with the goal of issuing rulings within nine to 12 months.
Meanwhile, a three-tier judicial system is being created, comprising the district courts, an appeals court and then the Supreme Court, so that mistrials can be reviewed at two additional levels.
Demetriades said that the ministry is planning to introduce electronic justice, allowing the submission of documents electronically, thus saving considerable time.
“The worst rating we have as a state relates to the time it takes to dispense justice,” he said.
The Justice Ministry, Demetriades added, is looking at creating a small-claims court that may do away with the need for legal representation, as litigants will be able to submit evidence without the need to be represented by a lawyer.
Within 15 or 30 days, the other side would be called to submit its own evidence, and the judge would then proceed to issue a ruling.
“Such measures are certainly welcome and we heard them with great pleasure, as the justice system in Cyprus is in need of radical overhaul,” Demetriades said.