Three-quarters of Cypriots are unsatisfied with the justice system, while many retain reservations about the impartiality of judges, a new survey has shown.

Conducted from December 9 to 14 by IMR and the University of Nicosia, the survey’s findings were presented at a seminar hosted by the university’s Procedural Law Unit.

The findings showed widespread distrust of the justice system among the public. One thousand respondents took part.

Approximately 60 per cent of respondents disagreed with the statement that ‘the courts are impartial.’ And 49 per cent thought that the attorney-general’s office performs its duties to an unsatisfactory degree.

One in two thought that corruption and ‘connections’ are among the biggest problems in the justice system.

In addition, 36 per cent thought that court cases take too long, while 23 per cent held a negative opinion of actual court judgments. Bureaucracy (17 per cent) and lack of objectivity (15 per cent) were other factors.

About 10 per cent of respondents said they have retained the services of lawyers in Cyprus; of these, half were satisfied. And 62 per cent were unsatisfied with the fees.

Another major finding related to people’s ignorance on legal matters. Six out of ten did not know, nor heard, of arbitration; seven in ten were unaware of mediation, and seven in ten were unaware of the concept of legal assistance.

The purpose of the survey was to gauge public perceptions about the justice system.