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cyprus introduces a new administrative court

A new draft law on the establishment of a new autonomous Administrative Court is under discussion in Cyprus. 

This initiative, probably one of the most fundamental developments of the Cyprus legal system of justice in the last decade, aims to diminish the case load of the Cyprus Supreme Court, which currently adjudicates on administrative and public recourses at first instance and, consequently, reduce the time required for the Supreme Court to rule on civil and criminal appeals.

Currently, civil appeals are heard by the Supreme Court within a period of 3 to 4 years from the date when the appeal is filed.  This is an inherently problematic phenomenon, especially where the nature of justice is directly associated with the speed of litigation, e.g. in provisional remedies. 

It is expected that this period shall dramatically decrease in a span of a few years after the operation of the new Administrative Court. The new Administrative Court is planned to be established in Nicosia and shall be composed of one (1) President and four (4) judges. This Administrative Court will be competent to review at first instance the lawfulness of decisions, actions or failures to act by administrative authorities. 

The jurisdiction of the Administrative Court shall be revisional, i.e. it shall only be able to validate or nullify the decision, action or default, excepts in Cyprus tax matters or immigration litigation, where the jurisdiction of the Court shall be more extensive and shall include the power to amend a decision so as to be compatible with applicable laws. Judgment of the Administrative Court could be the subject of appellate proceedings before the Supreme Court, which will hear them in a panel of three Supreme Court judges. 

Appeals can be lodged within forty two (42) days from the issuance of the first instance court decision. Transitional provisions would regulate the administration of cases that are pending before the Supreme Court at the date when the new law will enter into force. 

These will be transferred to the new Administrative Court for adjudication, unless final submissions were made and judgment was reserved prior to the date of enactment of the new law.

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