Following the measures taken by the Supreme Court, the functions of the Court of Justice are strictly limited only to the procedures subject to exceptions.
In this respect, as of today:
- The entrance of the new Court will remain closed. It is placed at the entrance of the Old Court. The Police Officer(s) responsible for the security of the site, with instructions such as to allow entry into the room only to persons who have work but not 12 persons at a time for work to be done at the Registrar. Upon completion of the work, an according number of people will be allowed to enter. It is understood that a security distance of 2 meters shall be maintained between the persons who will be waiting in the space indicated to them. A clerk will assist the officers. Those who do not comply with the instructions of the Police or Court Officers at the entrances will be removed from the building if they have already entered or will not be allowed to enter the building if they are waiting outside and are not being served. The Messenger of the Criminal Court at the time will be responsible for checking the number of people entering the courtroom, and the number shall not exceed 10-15 persons at a time.
- Regarding affidavits, these will only take place in relation to Court proceedings permitted by the decision of the Supreme Court, namely in extremely urgent cases. Consequently, all affidavits relating to civil proceedings will be made to the registrar of civil matters by authorized persons for this purpose after obtaining the relevant authorization of the Court of Justice for the proceedings in question. The same applies for criminal cases, in the Registrar of criminal matters and Registrar of specialized Courts. In relation to affidavits concerning the public, that is, for urgent extrajudicial work, these will be filed in the old building by Mr Nektarios Pippiros, by one person at a time provided that all personal hygiene measures precede.
- As to the cases that are pending until April 30, 2020, these will be sent to the competent Judges for handling, as announced by the Administrative President in relation to the Judges of our Court. With regards to the respective Registrar which will receive the new dates, these will be forwarded to the President of the Bar Association, who was kind enough to help, and who will communicate the dates to the lawyers, via the Bar Association website and by e-mail. In relation to the parties, who are not represented by a lawyer, they shall be informed by the Registry by telephone or by fax where possible in accordance with the contact details in the file.
- In relation to the proceedings included in the exceptions, these will be handled by the relevant Registrar. It is made clear that the urgency of each proceeding is judged beforehand by the Judge and ONLY after his permission, any procedure or affidavit shall be filed and carried out. The minutes of the Court of Justice will, therefore, instruct the Registrar whether or not the registration will be made and only then will the Court of Justice allow the Affiant to enter the premises. Furthermore, since the Bar has provisionally closed all points of sale within the Court for safety reasons, in such cases the Bar will issue a notice concerning the procurement of fiscal stamps which is found at the sale point of the court, since for reasons of security and to avoid large gatherings within the court, the bar association has temporarily closed it.
- Under the instructions of the Judge and in cooperation with the Bailiff, only the number of persons required in a courtroom for the proceedings covered by the exceptions will enter the Court.
- Furthermore, and mainly due to the measures taken by the Supreme Court, there will be mutual assistance and redistribution of work, under the guidance of the Registrar of the Court of Justice and where necessary.
- Following the announcement of the President of the Republic, the cafeteria of the Court will serve only "take away" or "delivery". Furthermore, all cafeteria staff shall necessarily comply with the safety measures announced by the Ministry of Health. It is understood that no one is allowed in from the outside entrance of the cafeteria.
For the best possible, and under the circumstances, most effective security of better and safer working conditions, disinfection of the Court will be planned for the next few days and in any case within the week, which will be repeated at regular intervals. Similarly, measures are to be taken by the Ministry of Health in providing disinfectants and other relevant protective equipment.
Finally, directions are expected regarding a revised staff attendance and work program, which will be communicated to you as soon as possible.
The above directions may be revised accordingly and with the development of the situation, as otherwise has been indicated by the Supreme Court.
For more information or legal advice, please contact your Harris Kyriakides partner or any of our lawyers.