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Afternoon work for judges to clear court case logjam

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou

A number of judges will be appointed to work in afternoons in an attempt to settle long-pending court cases some of which date back to 2011, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Monday.

The justice minister said that there were a number of old cases, some up to eight years old, waiting to be heard at the district court level and cases pending for up to six years at the supreme court.

“To deal with all these cases, we have agreed with the supreme court and with the Cyprus bar association to appoint an additional number of judges who will in the afternoon hear all the delayed cases.”

They will first start with those over four years old and then those over three years old.

The aim is to bring the time it takes for a case to be heard at an acceptable level.

Speaking to reporters, Nicolaou said the timeframe in place was that the changes would take place by 2020.

According to the justice minister, the decision nonetheless poses an important problem because it’s not as simple as finding a set number of judge but finding those with the proper qualifications. There is also the matter of the preparation they will need.

He was speaking after a meeting President Nicos Anastasiades had with a delegation from the Cyprus bar association which he attended.

Chairman of the association Doros Ioannides said “this is the first time proper work is being done.”

Studies on how to restructure and modernise the court system have been carried out “and we hope to see results before the end of the year,” he added.

According to Ioannides, thousands of cases went to court after the haircut on deposits in 2013 and as a result, cases filed in 2011, are only being heard now.


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