Cyprus: Improving Arbitration to Better Handle Land Law Disputes
In an attempt to bring the current legal system that was introduced in Cyprus 150 years ago up to date with more modern practices in 2019, the Cyprus government is looking for new ways to introduce more modern practices and approaches.
As a lot of the legislation in use still refers to the Queen of England! (Despite Cyprus gaining independence from the UK and its rulings in 1960). Another criticism of the out-dated Cypriot laws is the sheer time it takes to resolve and process minor disputes such as land law cases from property sales. After years of delays, the Cyprus courts will now introduce a new arbitration procedure and training as a better remedy to settle property law disagreements.
Whilst the court may still suggest the use of an Arbitrator depending on the complexity of the relevant case, the new procedure will be resolved outside court which means matters will be much less costly, more informal and for a case that may take years to resolve using Judges, the new method will expect to be resolved within 12 months through arbitration. All parties involved can apply at any time for court hearing however the main agreements will all be taken care of using a much faster route.
Arbitration & the Cyprus Technical Association
The Cyprus Technical Association has started a training course to educate its members who will deal with arbitrations going forward. This news comes as a welcome respite for those of many who currently have property tied up in legislature and waiting for court dates for resolution, including complex cases like compulsory acquisitions.
A recent decision to introduce an arbitrator between financiers and borrowers is most welcomed. Such has recently happened involving a multi-million euro case that was resolved with the help of an arbitrator who listening to both sides of the case and decided independently what was just and fair given the facts. Parties to the case both said that they would have had to wait years to resolve their issues in Cyprus courts.
However, as an Arbitrator is legally not a Judge, a settling in period will need to be allowed in order for the public to accept these decisions to begin with.
Specialised local courts in Cyprus already deal with disputes regarding rent control and family disagreements; however a Land Tribunal could help reduce bureaucratic, lengthy procedures reduce in turn making life easier for the government as the citizens of Cyprus.
A case to note is as a result of the somewhat inefficient Cyprus legal system, foreign companies who are conducting business in Cyprus with contractual disagreements will still need to be referred to the UK.
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