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Cyprus Judiciary System

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Information on the judiciary system in Cyprus

Statos Village                                   Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

Cyprus was a British colony until 1960, when the island became an independent republic.   Until independence  the legal system was based on the English legal system.   The laws enacted for the colony applied to Cyprus  the principles of common law and equity.  Many of those laws are still in force today.

After independence in 1960 the English legal system was largely preserved.  The laws applicable are the following:

The Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus

The laws retained in force by virtue of Article 188 of the Constitution

The principles of Common Law and Equity

The Laws enacted by the House of Representatives.

Following the accession of The Republic of Cyprus to the European Union in 2004, the Constitution was amended so that European law has supremacy over the Constitution and national legislation.

THE CYPRUS SUPREME COURT

The Supreme Court is the final appellate court of the Republic. It is also vested with jurisdiction to determine the constitutionality of laws, rules and regulations and has sole competence and exclusive jurisdiction to review the legality of acts, decisions or omissions emanating from the exercise of executive or administrative authority.

Moreover it is vested with original jurisdiction to issue writs known in English Law as prerogative writs that is orders in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari. A law may entrust original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in a particular field of law and such jurisdiction has been vested in the Supreme Court in admiralty matters.

The Supreme Court as the Electoral Court has the power to hear and determine petitions concerning the interpretation and application of the Electoral Laws.

FIRST INSTANCE COURTS

The principal first instance courts are the District Courts operating in every District of the Republic with the exception of the occupied areas; composed of District Judges, Senior District Judges and Presidents of District Courts.

The other first instance Courts are:

The Assize Courts

The Military Court

The Industrial Disputes Court

The Rent Control Courts

The Family Courts PIO

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