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Justice system will collapse if not reformed, Minister says

The justice system is in danger of collapsing if no reforms are made, Justice Minister, Ionas Nicolaou, said on Thursday.

Presenting the ministry’s 2019 budget to the House finance committee, Nicolaou said administration of justice in the country is “sick” and that holistic measures need to be taken.

He also announced important changes in all areas of the ministry aimed at its modernisation and reorganisation.

The government, he said, has decided to implement the suggestions of Irish experts who were asked to carry out a study delivered on March 2018, on reforming the structure and functioning of the courts.

“If the changes are not made, the system will collapse, all the reforms proposed in the study must be made,” Nicolaou said.

The reforms, he said have already started and are expected to be completed in 2020. According to the the Minister, a reform committee has been set up and the drafting of bills has begun.

He also said that “2019 will be a year that will be distinguished by major changes and reforms in all areas of the ministry with the aim of modernising and reorganising it.”

For the first time since 1960, changes are made to the administration of justice, he said.

Nicolaou described the creation of an administrative court and a commercial court, as “radical changes”.

The reforms come after calls by the judiciary for action to improve delays in justice processes.

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