Litigation in Cyprus: Subtleties of the Process
The judicial system holds a pivotal role in the life of every state, serving the primary purpose of upholding the law and assisting parties in uncovering the truth. Courts, relying on laws and facts, deliver impartial verdicts, determine guilt or innocence, and address a broad spectrum of issues encompassing civil, domestic, legal, and criminal claims.
Features of the Judicial System on the Island
It's crucial to highlight that the country's judicial system comprises two levels, with the Supreme Court of Cyprus occupying a predominant position, while the district and specialized courts are positioned lower and handle legal proceedings for applicants. This two-tiered structure facilitates effective issue resolution and decision-making on submitted claims.
The island adheres to a statute of limitations for settling civil disputes, set at 10 years. However, this period may be subject to alteration, either extended or shortened, in certain cases. For instance, in instances of contractual obligation violations, the period is reduced to 6 years from the date of filing the claim.
The lower courts exhibit a branched structure, with each division empowered to render verdicts in specific cases. Judicial institutions are categorized into several subgroups based on the tasks they address, including:
1CIVIL DISTRICT COURTS:
First-resort institutions handling a variety of issues such as contract disputes, debt collection, intellectual property disputes, personal injury claims, torts, medical malpractice, inheritance and property disputes, etc. Additionally, they manage criminal cases with imprisonment terms not exceeding 5 years.
2RENT CONTROL COURTS:
Authorized to handle cases related to the rental of commercial and residential premises, transport, etc.
3INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE COURTS:
Deal with litigation involving large law firms providing services to the industrial sector.
Address claims for divorce, division of property, parental custody orders, adoption, etc.
5COURTS OF ASSISI:
Have jurisdiction over criminal cases with sentences of imprisonment exceeding 5 years.
The Cyprus court system follows an adversarial nature, with the judge serving as the primary arbiter between the parties. Jury trials are not conducted in the country, and civil proceedings involve a single judge without a jury.
How to Initiate a Lawsuit?
- Legal proceedings commence with the filing of a claim by the injured party, presenting evidence of injustice. The court then considers the case based on the provided materials.
- The court issues a subpoena to the defendants, and if the defendant is on the island, they must appear in court within 10 days from the date of service of the summons.
- Throughout the trial, additional evidence can be presented until the final verdict. If parties present witnesses, they undergo questioning during cross-examination.
- Ultimately, the judge invites both parties to submit final submissions on conflict resolution, leading to the issuance of a verdict.
The duration of a trial varies based on the proceedings' complexity, the number of involved parties, interlocutory applications, and other procedural steps.
Arbitration and Mediation as Methods of Pre-trial Dispute Resolution
It's essential to note that litigation is not the sole method for resolving conflicts between parties. Before heading to court, the following dispute resolution methods are available:
Engages a disinterested mediator to assist in resolving claims. Agreements reached during mediation may be submitted to the court as a final decision.
A formal process resulting in a binding decision on both parties. Arbitration is more formal and obliges parties to abide by the reached agreement, while mediation is less formal, resembling a simplified dispute resolution process.
Assistance in Conducting Legal Proceedings in Cyprus
Conducting a trial is a complex task that requires thorough understanding of proceedings and professional knowledge. If you find yourself needing to go to court, seeking the assistance of qualified lawyers is crucial. They can help you participate in court, provide a competent explanation of the procedure, and accompany you throughout the proceedings.
Our company's litigation department offers consulting services on various dispute-related issues in any field of activity (labor, household, economic, business, or family). Competent and legally savvy specialists guide clients step by step in any matter, whether it involves litigation or alternative dispute resolution. Our qualified lawyers can help you achieve the desired conflict resolution through comprehensive support during the trial process. We provide the following legal assistance services:
- Resolution of corporate disputes (management disputes, shareholder disputes, derivative financial disputes, etc.).
- Conflict resolution within the framework of family law (family disputes, divorce, parental custody issues, adoption).
- Debt collection (correspondence with the debtor, filing a lawsuit, and enforcement).
- Resolution of labor disputes and conflicts within the framework of employment (claims for unfair dismissal, termination of employment contract, etc.).
Conducting a trial demands specific legal knowledge, and our company ensures clients receive top-notch, qualified assistance in resolving conflicts based on the legal framework. We shoulder the burdens of litigation, allowing our clients to remain calm and protect their nervous system.