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Public sector failing to comply with court decisions

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou addressing MPs on Wednesday

Lawmakers on Wednesday discussed the need to enact legislation compelling administrative authorities to comply with court decisions.

The House ethics committee heard that a lot of sectors such as the civil service, the police, army and the wider public sector, including local authorities, failed to comply with decisions that concerned appointments, promotions and other employment issues.

MPs heard the problem mostly concerned older decisions, as the majority of government branches and departments now fully complied with court decisions.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said they have prepared legislation on the matter, currently being processed by the Legal Service.

“The political position is that there must be a law regulating the mandatory compliance of administrative bodies with the decisions of the administrative court,” he said.

Compliance with the decision, the minister said, did not only concern the annulment of an act but also the substance of a decision.

To date, the supreme and administrative courts could only review a decision without examining the substance. The law would enable an authority to apply to court to see if the act is substantive and if so then it will be forced to decide or face sanctions.

The minister said as far as he was concerned, the police fully complied with such decisions since March 2014, when the new chief took over.

Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides told MPs the bill for non-compliance was usually footed by taxpayers. As an example, he used the case of a worker at Paliometoho council whom the local authority refused to allow back to his work despite him being vindicated by the court. Instead, they forced him to take a paid leave of absence.

 


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