Justice in Cyprus is currently undergoing a massive reconstruction through the upcoming reform of the Cyprus Civil Procedure Rules, mainly aiming at the acceleration of judicial proceedings and the elimination of any deficiencies within the Cyprus legal arena. To this effect, various mechanisms have been introduced by the new Rules, allowing the Courts to handle each case with the maximum level of efficacy.
Free – standing injunctions
One of the most important mechanisms to be enforced under the new Rules, will be the one of ‘free - standing injunctions’, described in Part 25 of the new Rules. More specifically, Part 25.4 concerns the right of a person to file an application for interim injunctions in relation to proceedings that are currently pending, or will be instigated, out of jurisdiction, as well as the right of a person to file an application for disclosure or inspection before the initiation of any claim.
Another interesting addition is Part 44 of the new Rules which focuses on arbitration and lays, in detail, the procedure that one should follow for the commencement of arbitration proceedings.
For example, Part 44.3 of the new Rules concerns the commencement procedure which begins with the submission of an arbitration claim form in the manner prescribed in Part 8 of the new Rules and also provides for the possibility of a party to request the stay of pending Court proceedings from the Court that deals with such proceedings. Further, pursuant to Part 44.4 of the new Rules, the arbitration claim form shall include inter alia, description of the remedies sought, description of the matters for which the plaintiff is seeking the issue of an award, details of the defendants, etc.
Moreover, in accordance to Part 44.5, Cyprus Courts may order the service of an arbitration claim form outside of the jurisdiction, and they may also order the service of an arbitration claim form upon the lawyers of a party to the arbitration.
Pre – action protocols and Pre – trial conduct
New Rules introduce several “Pre-action Protocols”, as well as a “Pre-Trial Conduct” to be followed in case that a Pre-action Protocol is not applicable.
More particularly, Pre-action Protocols represent certain steps that parties will be required to take before addressing the matter in question in Court and such protocols are applicable in claims for a specific amount of money, in road accidents and personal injury claims, mainly requiring the exchange of a demand and a reply letter. Failure of a party to comply with the steps provided by such Pre-action Protocols, may be used against such party at a later stage during the judicial proceedings through the imposition of penalties in the form of expenses and costs.
Where a Pre-action Protocol is not applicable, the parties need to act reasonably in relation to the exchange of information and documents re the claim in question, intending to avoid the initiation of Court proceedings.
With September fast approaching, the authorities are currently conducting training seminars for lawyers, members of the Judiciary and Court Registrars so as to achieve a smooth transition into the new, and definitely more efficient, judicial system. Our Firm’s lawyers are very excited to implement in practice these new Rules that will definitely maximise the efficacy of Cyprus justice.