LEGAL SYSTEM IN CYPRUS

All you need to know about Legal System in Cyprus.

BACKGROUND

Cyprus has close ties with the United Kingdom which is also reflected in it’s legal system. Cyprus was a British colony until 1960, when the independent Democratic Republic of Cyprus was created. Until then, the legal system followed English Legal System. Many of the English common law doctrines and rules are still valid in the current Cypriot Legal System.

SOURCES OF LAW

  • The Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus
  • Laws and Regulations retained by virtue of Article 188 of the Constitution
  • Principles of Common Law
  • The Law enacted by House of Representatives
  • European Legislation (Cyprus is a member of the European Union since 2004)

LEGAL PROFESSION

Unlike in the United Kingdom, Cyprus does not distinguish between solicitors and barristers. The legal profession is fused and lawyers qualified in Cyprus can carry on both of these roles.

To be come a lawyer in Cyprus (also referred to as advocate), one must have a law degree from a university recognised by Cyprus and complete one year training in a law firm in Cyprus, under supervision of a lawyer with at least 5 years of legal experience.

Following completion of the training, a legal exam must be taken, the completion of which qualifies for practice of law in Cyprus.

Every lawyer in Cyprus has to be a member of the Cypriot Bar Association and is governed by the Code of Professional Conduct.

COURT SYSTEM

Cyprus has a two tie Court system. The Supreme Court is the highest court and consists of 13 judges and district courts. District Courts are divided into civil courts, family courts, employment courts, rent control courts, assize courts and military courts.

To invoke the jurisdiction of a district court, either of the parties must reside in the district of the court (civil cases) or the dispute has arisen in the district of the court (civil cases) or in case of criminal proceedings, the cause of action occurred in the district of the court.

The Supreme Court is a court of appeal, and deals also with administrative and admiralty matters.