Cyprus' new Administrative Court will reduce delays in the justice system by around one third once it is operational, according to Minister of Justice Ionas Nicolaou.
Speaking to the media after a House Finance Committee meeting, Nicolaou (photo) said the court which is expected to be up and running by September this year will deal mainly with taxation and asylum cases.
"Today we have completed an examination of three law proposals for the creation of the Administrative Court. Our aim is to speed up the process of legal administration and tax appeal cases."
Nicolaou confirmed that there are currently around 5,000 tax appeal cases pending in legal system which cause huge delays as each case takes an average of two years to process.
"Citizens will be able to appeal against tax case verdicts at the Administrative Court. Today these cases are logged at the Supreme Court but due to the extensive delays which often lead to legal mishaps many are dropped."
The new admin court will operate within the Supreme Court in Nicosia and will be made up of five judges. The minister said efforts are underway now to amend the law in order to have it operational as soon as possible.
"There is the matter of amending article 146 of the constitution which we will be discussing with the Attorney General and the President of the Supreme Court."
Chairman of the House Legal Affairs Committee Soteris Sampson expressed confidence that all legal hitches will be ironed out quickly and the court will be up and running within the scheduled timeframe.
"There are a few points we still need to discuss with the Justice Ministry before the next committee meeting."
The committee is scheduled to convene again in two week time to discuss the proposal before it is put through to the House for a vote.
The new admin court is a breath of fresh air for legal professionals who have for years complained the judicial system is impeded by chronic delays and under staffing.