Cyprus Supreme Court President Persefoni Panayi Addresses to the trainers, judges and registrars-8/07/2021

Thursday July 8th 2021,

11 a.m. – 2.30 p.m.

Address by the President of the Supreme Court of Cyprus
Persefoni Panayi

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The completion of new rules of Civil Procedure and their approval by the Supreme Court marks a significant milestone in the reform process of the Civil Justice System in Cyprus. It is a road that has been travelled for more than three years and although we are reaching the end, significant challenges still lie ahead, most important of which is their successful implementation and application.

The new rules, which will replace the existing legal framework in force since 1958, give effect to key recommendations made by a group of experts headed by the Rt. Hon Lord Dyson in cooperation with the Rules Committee established by the Supreme Court. Their primary aim is to accelerate the administration of justice and increase the overall efficiency of the civil justice process. They constitute an ambitious step whose “fundamental objective …will be to enable the courts to deal with cases justly, at proportionate cost and more speedily and efficiently than is possible under the existing Rules”. This “overriding objective” is the fundamental philosophy which underpins the new Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court must further the overriding objective by actively managing cases.

This new reform will bring significant changes in the approach to civil litigation. However, the Rules cannot be truly effective unless they are understood and accepted by all those involved in the judicial system and the new practices and procedures are properly and robustly applied by the courts.

The implementation process calls for change in long-established legal culture as well as the ethos in civil procedure. The shift from the current approach to litigation which often results in unnecessary delay and significant cost to the parties, requires a clear articulation of the philosophy of the Rules. Judges must be adequately equipped with the necessary tools and skills to actively manage a case in preparation for trial, to deal with a case justly – one of the most challenging tasks that the judge has to perform – achieving the right balance around the principles of equality, proportionality, efficiency and effectiveness.

For the proper performance of these judicial duties, it is important that judges receive appropriate training designed to promote their understanding of the new Rules and the transformed role of the CPR Judge, especially in the context of active case management. In this respect international trainers have undertaken to share their expertise and experience in this area and to illustrate significant aspects of the new procedural framework and the key challenges in its implementation.

Today’s session and the sessions to follow, will provide the national trainers, judges and registrars, with the necessary framework for the training of their colleagues, by enhancing their understanding of the new Rules and empowering them to undertake their role of trainers with greater skill and confidence.

Finding qualified and experienced trainers who are available and able to deliver the necessary training is a difficult and unenviable task. In this respect we have been most fortunate. Our special thanks and appreciation to our eminent international trainers His Honour Nick Madge, Sir John Gillen, Mr Justice Seamus Noonan for his significant commitment to this programme pro bono, to Mr David Mcllroy and Mr Darragh Connell.

Words of thanks are also due to our national trainers who are participating in today’s briefing session, for undertaking to become trainers in addition to their other duties and for their commitment to this programme.

Finally and by no means least, our appreciation to the Director of the Cyprus School for Judicial Training, Mr George Erotocritou, and his team, for coordinating this and other related events in this programme.

With these few words allow me now to welcome you to this important briefing session and to wish you all every success in the training programme, which I am confident will stimulate active involvement.

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