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Ordinary courts - Cyprus

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In the Republic of Cyprus there are only two tier courts. The Supreme Court, which hears appeals at second instance, on appeals against a decision of a court of first instance and the following courts of first instance:

  • Administrative Court
  • District Courts
  • Serious crime
  • Family Court
  • The Rent Control Court
  • A Labour Disputes Court and
  • Military court.

Ordinary courts — Introduction

  • Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is composed of thirteen judges, one of whom is the President of the Court of Justice. The Supreme Court exercises the following jurisdictions:

Appeal Tribunal

The Supreme Court hears all appeals from rulings handed down by courts of first instance in civil and criminal matters. As a rule, 3 judges are heard by judges. The hearing of the appeal is based on the minutes of the proceedings at first instance (except in very exceptional cases where it is possible to hear and give evidence). In the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, the Supreme Court can uphold, differentiate or disapply the contested decision, or order the rehearing of the case.

Review Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to hear appeals against any decision, act or omission of persons or bodies exercising administrative authority. The Supreme Court may annul any enforceable administrative act which was adopted in breach of or ultra vires or is contrary to the law or the Constitution.

Preferential Extradition

The Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to grant preferential Habeas Corpus, mandamus, Certiorari, Quo Warranto and Prohibition.

Jurisdiction of the courts of justice

The Supreme Court has jurisdiction at first instance and, on appeal, jurisdiction to hear the employment of a civil court. First instance the case is heard by a judge, and on appeal by the plenary of the Court of Justice.

Electoral jurisdiction

The Supreme Court of Justice has exclusive jurisdiction to hear claims concerning the interpretation and application of electoral laws.

Constitutional issues

The Supreme Court has jurisdiction to decide on the constitutionality of any law and to resolve conflicts of powers between the various organs of the State. The Supreme Court also rules on the constitutionality of laws in respect of which the President of the Republic exercises the right of referral conferred on him by the Constitution.

  • District Courts

The district courts hear in the first instance all civil cases (except where the court is sitting on a post in court) as also criminal cases for offences punishable by up to 5 years in prison. A District Court is in operation in each administrative district in Cyprus. Cases are heard by a judge and there is no jury.

  • Serious crime

Hear appeals only deal with criminal matters. They normally deal with the most serious cases involving offences for which there is a maximum term of imprisonment exceeding 5 years. Each criminal court shall consist of 3 judges. Decisions shall be taken by a majority of votes. There is no jury.

Legal Data Banks

Any official legal database is not yet in place. Some private legal databases have been in place, some of which provide subscription services, while others provide access free of charge.

The information contained is judgements handed down by courts and primary legislation.

Relevant links

Link opens in new windowSupreme Court of Cyprus


This is a machine translated version of the content. The owner of this page accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the quality of this machine translated text.

Last update: 30/10/2019