The Cyprus Bar Association is set to stage a two-hour protest on Thursday outside the Supreme Court to voice its opposition to regulations aimed at speeding up cases that have been dragging on for too long, a move later called unnecessary by the Supreme Court.
Set to take place between 9.30-11.30am, the bar association said the 2022 (special) regulations on sentencing delayed cases only serve to add more pressure on lawyers and judges alike. “Sentencing cases under pressure will lead to dismissing a large number of cases, heightening the feeling of injustice to the public.”
Announcing the protest, the association said delayed cases cannot be tackled with “stifling regulations” but by implementing a slew of measures, adopting measures on sentencing while increasing the number of judges, hiring retired individuals and recording the minutes of cases.
The association added it was open to the possibility of upping the measures if necessary.
“Delayed cases cannot be tackled using a philosophy that promotes express solutions that violate basic principles, the constitution, EU law, the European Convention of Human Rights and the principles of natural justice, blatantly ignoring the role of lawyers in the judicial process.”
The regulations, published by the supreme court on Friday deal with cases between 2014 and 2018 that have yet to be heard.
Chairpersons of the district bar associations will prepare their own report on how backlog can be tackled.
But the Supreme Court said it was always there to discuss smooth operations surrounding justice however the precondition for this is “mutual respect and respect to the constitutional authorities of the Supreme Court.”
According to a statement from the Supreme Court, the regulations were presented to the bar association in June this year and again on November 9.
Stelios Nathanael was appointed as the administrator for clearing the backlog and his proposals – which eventually became the new regulations – were met positively, the statement said.
Nathanael had requested any comments be sent to him before the regulations were approved, so they could be considered.
“Given the previous agreement with the bar association, the subsequent reaction and threat of taking extreme and unnecessary measures under the circumstances is surprising.”