Commercial court will be set up in early 2018

In efforts to modernise the Cyprus justice system, a new Commercial court will be set up in early 2018

Legal Friday, 28 April, 2017

In efforts to modernise the Cyprus justice system, a new Commercial court will be set up in early 2018 to deal with claims arising from contracts, company disputes, the purchase or sale of goods, etc.

JUSTICE Minister Ionas Nicolaou and the members of the Supreme Court decided on Thursday to set up a Commercial Court as part of efforts to modernise the justice system.
Referring to the number of such cases at the district courts, Nicolaou said there were 342 registered in 2015 and 273 registered last year.

In statements to the media following the meeting, the minister said the Commercial Court would have jurisdiction over matters including claims arising from contracts or disputes between companies, the purchase or sale of goods, the exploitation of oil or gas, the purchase or exchange of shares, intellectual property and insurance affairs.

The court will have two seats, one in Limassol and one in Nicosia, but as the minister said, there would be consultations with the Supreme Court. The Commercial Court will also have a separate structure and will operate outside the District Courts.

There will be a “fast track” procedure, which can be completed at first instance up to 18 months.

Nicolaou said his ministry was preparing a bill which would be re-examined, and would next week be submitted for consultation to interested parties such as the Cyprus Bar Association, CIPA and others who have expressed interest in the establishment of a Commercial Court.

The aim is for the bill to be submitted to the House immediately after the summer, so that the discussion is completed in time to allow all preparatory work to take place and the Court to become operational at the beginning of 2018.

He said that in agreement with the minister of finance a number of judges would be provided for in the budget who will set up and work in the Commercial Court.

“Our country wants to be considered as a place which provides services and that is why we have to create the appropriate conditions and judicial procedures, which will give the opportunity for these cases to be heard before the Court within a short period of time,” said Nicolaou.

“In this way we will be able to attract additional investments, entrepreneurs and companies interested in registering or operating in Cyprus from abroad.”

The minister also said that there would be a possibility to hear disputes arising from transactions abroad when the parties have agreed that the dispute should be judged on the basis of Cypriot law and by the Commercial Court of Cyprus.