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Cyprus

Coronavirus: Bar Association says lawyers severely affected by closure of courts

Nicosia court

The head of the Bar Association said on Tuesday the closure of the courts as part of measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus has severely affected lawyers in Cyprus.

“It’s an industry that has been hit very hard,” Doros Ioannides said.

Almost all court cases have been indefinitely suspended and only a handful can still take place, such as police appeal cases, he said.

Ioannides said it’s very important to find an immediate solution to support the sector, as “it is expected that many lawyers and employees of law firms will unfortunately lose their jobs while the country is in lockdown.”

He urged the finance and labour ministries to start granting benefits and subsidies to stop people from being laid off.

Ioannides said the decision taken by the Greek government to grant an €800 allowance for the period spanning from March 13 to October 11 would not be a good-enough solution for Cyprus.

“We need to find a better response to the situation. Granting benefits would not prevent a law firm from closing down and dismissing its employees.”

He also said the justice system in Cyprus was suffering especially during the coronavirus crisis because of the absence of an e-justice system.

“We have been calling for it to be implemented for years and it never happened. Now we are paying the price,” said Ioannides.

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