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Justice in Cyprus among the slowest in the world

Larnaca Court

Cyprus ranks among the slowest countries in the world in terms of receiving swift justice, a conference in Nicosia heard, where it was reported that while the EU average required to complete a case is eight months, Cyprus needs more than 2,500 days.

Addressing a round table discussion organised by the central bank, its head Chrystalla Georgadji said for some types of issue the wait for a case to close in Cyprus is the longest.

According to data released by the EU for the year 2016 Cyprus was among the slowest countries at delivering justice, she said.

“Today, the way in which a case is handled is directly linked to the development and economic dimension of the functioning of justice. In European and international evaluations available to potential investors, the functioning of justice is an important factor to be taken into account in their decision on whether or not they will invest in a country,” the governor said.

“Delays in justice are a deterrent to investors,” she added.

For trade cases, one average it will take 1,100 days to close a case in Cyprus, she said.

According to the World Economic Forum, Cyprus came 73rd on a global basis for the amount of time it took to solve differences, the same place as Cameroon but behind Uganda, Pakistan and Egypt. However, in terms of whether a citizen can apply to court to seek justice against the stae, Cyprus came in 22nd.

Other statistics presented showed that Cyprus is among the countries of Europe that spend the least on the operation of courts per head of the population, at €25. The percentage of the state budget spent on the operation of courts is also low, at 0.12 per cent, compared to a European average of 0.32 per cent.

The number of judges per 100,000 citizens is again low, 12 in Cyprus compared to an EU average of 20.

Of 18 projects that the government has planned to improve justice only four have been completed, the forum heard. These include an independent school for the training of judges and the updating of the way courts operate according to overseas experts brought in to study the issue who made 21 suggestions.

The other issue is to resolve the backlog of cases, for which it has been said 26 new judges need to be appointed.

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