A major holistic overhaul of the island’s judiciary must be completed immediately in light of the data presented in the 2022 EU Justice Scoreboard, which placed Cyprus last in Europe when it comes to the huge amount of time it takes to push cases through the courts.
In a written statement, Justice Minister Stephi Drakou noted that once again there was a need to promote the bills pending before the House legal affairs committee.
“As a government”, she added, “in recent years we have exhausted all scope for dialogue and discussion both with the parliamentary parties and with all stakeholders”.
At the same time, Drakou said that in the areas where reform projects were progressing, the image of Cyprus in Europe was improving, noting that in the case of introducing technology to the courts, Cyprus managed to move up from bottom place to 13th place.
“The time has come for the final decisions to be made and the last word belongs to the parliamentary parties,” Drakou said.
However, the justice minister added that “we must give citizens what rightfully belongs to them, the timely and qualitative administration of justice”.
In closing, Drakou appealed to the political forces to proceed swiftly with the passage of the bills.
In response to the Justice Minister’s concerns, the chairman of the House Legal Affairs Committee, Disy’s Nicos Tornaritis announced that the bills will be taken to the House plenary session for a vote definitely before the summer recess.
Tornaritis said that next Wednesday, May 25, the political parties will take a position on the bill and the week after that, the parties will have the opportunity to submit any proposed amendments.
In response to the European Commission’s report on the administration of justice in the EU member states, which put Cyprus last on the list due to judicial tardiness, Tornaritis said “Justice that is not given as soon as possible is not justice”.
On a different note, Tornaritis noted that the committee also examined the issue concerning volunteer forest firefighters during an article-by-article discussion which was concluded on Friday and will be brought to a vote in the House plenum.