Cyprus has recently amended its Civil Procedure Rules (CPRs) by way of a regulation issued by the Supreme Court (SC) namely the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Procedural Regulation 2014, which came into force on 1/1/15 (with some exceptions).

Unjustified delays prompted the Supreme Court and the Legislator to take steps to improve the prompt and efficient administration of justice by the Cypriot Courts. The CPRs have been amended. The Constitution has also been amended to establish the Administrative Court, which began to hear cases on 1/1/16. The new Court aims to relieve the SC of judicial review cases, so it can focus on a more expedient adjudication of Appeals.

New Order 30 of the CPRs furnishes the Court with more “drastic” case-management powers, to be exercised according to the principle of the “overriding objective”. The Court gives the directions it deems necessary to deal with the case justly, proportionately and expeditiously.

New Order 30 divides claims into two categories:

 (i) “Fast track” cases, which include small claims (i.e. under €3,000), and (ii) “Trial by Hearing” cases, where the claim exceeds €3,000.

Courts can now apply stricter deadlines and allow specific and limited time to advocates for the presentation of their cases. The aim is to safeguard the right to a fair and expedient trial.

Positive effects are already starting to be seen. It will be interesting to see how this new Order will be applied in practice and evolve through case-law.