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Cyprus justice bottom of EU scoreboard

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Cyprus finds itself at the bottom of another ranking list compared to its fellow EU states, this time the Justice Scoreboard measuring the judicial system’s independence, quality, and effectiveness.

According to the EU Commission’s tenth Justice Scoreboard, Cyprus’ performance is the worst in the bloc.

The Scoreboard gives an annual overview of indicators focusing on the three essential pillars of effective judicial systems, efficiency, quality, and independence.

  • Efficiency: indicators on the length of proceedings, clearance rate and the number of pending cases.
  • Quality: indicators on accessibility (such as legal aid and court fees), training, budget, human resources and digitalisation.
  • Independence: indicators on perceived judicial independence among the general public and companies and safeguards relating to judges and the functioning of national prosecution services.

According to data, Cyprus took the longest time (more than 1,000 days) compared to other EU countries to resolve civil, commercial, administrative, and other cases.

Cyprus also takes the longest amount of time (over 2,500 days) to resolve administrative cases.

Furthermore, Cyprus has one of the largest numbers of pending civil, commercial, and administrative cases.

Commenting on the poor performance, Justice Minister Stephie Dracos said: “The 2022 EU Justice Scoreboard demonstrates the urgent need to push forward with justice reform.

“The need for the promotion of the bills that are pending before the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs and concern the structure of the Supreme Court is once again apparent,” said Dracos.

In recent years, she argued, the government has exhausted all room for dialogue and discussion with the parliamentary parties and stakeholders.

“We see that Cyprus’ performance improves where reform projects move forward.

“For example, in terms of introducing technology in the Courts, Cyprus managed to go from the last position to 13th place.”

She said, “the time has come for final decisions, and the last word belongs to the parliamentary parties.

“We must deliver to society what it rightfully deserves; that is a justice system that delivers in a timely and effective manner.”