The new administrative court, which is expected to start work in September will cut tax appeal case times by one third, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Wednesday.
Speaking after a session of the House legal Affairs Committee, Nicolaou said there were currently 5,000 pending tax appeals clogging up the current court system, each taking on average two years to process.
He said the speed of the new court process would weed out those exploiting delays in the current system to avoid paying taxes. Cases would not go on longer than nine months, he said.
The administrative court will hear cases involving appeals concerning public sector jobs and promotions, and tax matters. Nicolaou said delays in solving public sector jobs disputes was disruptive to the state machine, often leaving senior positions empty while the legal processes are ongoing.
The new court is designed to take over a considerable workload from the Supreme Court through an amendment of the constitution.
The court will be made up of five judges who will be based at the Supreme Court building in Nicosia and its powers will be extended to cover tax matters and asylum issues.
The decision means that the constitution will be amended to afford the new court authority currently held by the Supreme Court under Article 146.
According to the new law, the court will have “exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate finally on a recourse made to it on a complaint that a decision, an act or omission of any organ, authority or person, exercising any executive or administrative authority is contrary to any of the provisions of this constitution or of any law or is made in excess or in abuse of powers vested in such organ or authority or person.”
The House committee will meet again on the issue in 15 days after which they hope to send the bill to the plenary for approval into law.