Cyprus Mail

Lawyers and judges admit to ‘big delays’ in justice

Larnaca courthouse

By George Psyllides

LAWYERS and judges believe there are big delays in the dispensation of justice in Cyprus, a survey has found, with lawyers contributing to the current state of affairs.

The survey found that 90 per cent of those asked believe that the duration of civil cases was unjustifiably long – 70 per cent said the same for criminal cases.

Two-thirds of the sample said lawyers contributed to the huge delays in criminal and civil cases, but the overwhelming majority – 94 per cent — said the system could improve if technology was used to exchange court documents.

The survey also found that a third of those questioned were satisfied with the lawyers’ honesty and ethics.

It was carried out by the bar association in co-operation with University of Cyprus professor Andros Kapardis and polled 370 lawyers and judges.

Bar association chairman Doros Ioannides conceded that the problem “is huge.”

“The delays do not advance the justice institution,” he said.

“We are living in an era of decline in the institutions, when everything is being questioned and we want to maintain the high standards justice enjoyed until today,” Ioannides said.

Recent reports claiming certain defendants had received favourable treatment by the Limassol district court have not helped the credibility of the justice system.

They were very serious cases, which, despite raising concern, they should not be considered as being the norm, Kapardis said.

The majority of those polled – 74 per cent – also believe that rules for civil procedure should be radically changed; 76 per cent believe criminal procedures must also be modernised.

Almost half, or 46 per cent, think that court decisions contained contradictions even though the facts were essentially the same.
Nearly 45 per cent said court decisions were fully substantiated and Supreme Court rulings were not biased.

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