News Local Coronavirus: Court sittings only for urgent cases, says Supreme Court president

Coronavirus: Court sittings only for urgent cases, says Supreme Court president

The courts will remain in operation but will only handle urgent cases, both criminal and civil, said Supreme Court president Myronas Nicolatos on Monday.

The announcement came following a meeting between the members of the Supreme Court, the attorney general Costas Clerides, the Minister of Justice George Savvides and the chairman of the Cyprus Bar Association Doros Ioannides.

“With full respect to the government’s latest measures, decrees and regulations, the courts will remain in operation and will only hear cases fulfilling certain criteria to be announced later on Monday,” Nicolatos said.

“We believe that this will alleviate the issue of crowds at the courts and therefore limit the risk of spreading the virus,” he added, mentioning that the decision is effective immediately.

The Attorney General Costas Clerides said that the measures will have a timeframe similar to that of the government’s announced measures, adding that “exact dates and measures will be provided during the day.”

Asked when recent measures will be enshrined into law, Clerides said that it’s a work in progress.

“The executive branch of government is drafting the relevant bills which will then be forwarded to the legal service for further handling,” although he said he is not aware how many of the announced measures will become law when questioned.

“After being drafted, the bills would need to be approved by the council of ministers and then be put to a vote before the House plenum,” he added.

The Minister of Justice George Savvides said that the meeting took into account the urgent situation together with particularities of the courts’ operation, for example that someone needs to present themselves in court regardless of whether they wish to or not.

“For this reason, it was agreed that the courts will only see urgent cases, that were determined as those cases necessary for the State to function,” Savvides concluded.

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