Litigation, Cyprus updates

Supreme Court rejects EAW cancellation request: appellant's individual rights not absolute
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 07 January 2020

The Supreme Court recently rejected a Greek appellant's request for the annulment of a European arrest warrant (EAW) which had been issued against him in order to investigate alleged criminal offences. Although the court erroneously accepted the appellant's appeal of the ne bis in idem principle (ie, the prohibition of double jeopardy), it rightly concluded that Cyprus was not prevented from executing the EAW by investigating the case against the appellant.

Guarantee for faithful execution of tenancy lease agreement does not cover statutory tenancy period
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 17 December 2019

In a recent appeal case, the Supreme Court ruled that the wording of a guarantee signed in respect of a tenancy lease agreement did not fall within the context of an explicit commitment to cover the statutory tenancy as well. Therefore, it could not be concluded that the parties intended to extend the guarantee to this form of tenancy and that the guarantor was committed to pay the rent during said period.

Interlocutory injunctions as a post-judgment tool
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 05 November 2019

An interim or interlocutory injunction is a court order effectively ordering a party to carry out or refrain from carrying out an action for a certain period. The general rule is that an injunction remains effective until a final judgment is rendered for the main action or until it is cancelled or modified by a subsequent court injunction. Nonetheless, in certain instances, the Cypriot courts have decided to uphold such injunctions in effect, even after the issuance of a judgment in the main proceedings, to facilitate execution.

Supreme Court upholds first-instance decision on fraudulent transfer of shares
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 15 October 2019

​The Supreme Court recently confirmed a first-instance decision which had annulled a transfer of shares by a debtor to his son. The Supreme Court found that the debtor had acted fraudulently to prevent his creditor from executing a court judgment which had been issued in the creditor's favour. The Supreme Court also found that the issuance of a decree on the sale of shares as a means of enforcing the decision against the debtor was possible.

Supreme Court rejects appeal against detention order in sexual assault case
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 20 August 2019

The Supreme Court recently rejected an appeal against a detention order issued by the Larnaca Permanent Assize Court in a sexual assault case. The appellant claimed that the evidence placed before the first-instance court had speculated on his guilt and the risk of him absconding. However, the Supreme Court found that the accused's detention until trial was at the discretion of the first-instance court and that, based on the circumstances of the case, the court had exercised this power correctly.

Court examines validity of lawyer's sworn affidavit provided on behalf of clients as part of interim application
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 13 August 2019

The Larnaca District Court recently issued a decision on the validity of a sworn affidavit provided by a lawyer on behalf of his clients in the context of an interim application. Drawing on relevant case law, the court found that lawyers who are or will be witnesses in the relevant case or who represent clients in the relevant case cannot provide sworn affidavits as part of the court proceedings. As a result, the court rejected the claimant's objection for being invalid.

Objectivity versus practicality: adding a third party to an action
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 06 August 2019

A recent Supreme Court decision examined a first-instance court's interpretation of the Civil Procedure Rules and, in particular, who can be added as a third party to a process pending before the courts. The decision established that the courts should look only at the conditions imposed by the Civil Procedure Rules on a prima facie basis and not the merits of the claim.

Interim injunctions: submission of recognisance by lawyer on client's behalf
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 30 July 2019

In a recent first-instance judgment, the Supreme Court of Cyprus examined the meaning of 'recognisance' under the Civil Procedure Law. The judgment indicates that the court has a tendency to follow both a more liberal approach reflecting the needs of modern commercial transactions and a teleological interpretation by focusing on the purpose of legislation instead of the ordinary meaning of the words.

Dismissal of application due to delay in implementing enforcement measures
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 23 July 2019

The Supreme Court recently upheld a lower-court judgment to dismiss an application under the Civil Procedural Rules requesting enforcement measures 18-and-a-half years after an initial judgment had been handed down. However, the appeal was dismissed because the debt judgment's existence had not been established and because there had been such a long delay in applying for the adoption of the enforcement measures.

Who has locus standi to bring derivative actions in Cyprus?
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 16 July 2019

In order for a derivative action to be raised, there must be evidence of fraud and of wrongdoers controlling a company to the extent that the company cannot be made a plaintiff in a lawsuit. Recent case law has confirmed that when shares in a company are held on trust by a nominee shareholder, only they are entitled to raise an action on the company's behalf. In practice, this means that a company's beneficial owner has no locus standi to claim their rights.

Admissibility of digital evidence in court
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 02 July 2019

The rapid development of technology and the use of digital devices have resulted in a significant transition from the creation of physical to digital data. Consequently, the role of digital forensics in fighting crime is becoming ever more important and it is critical for law firms and courts to develop a well-thought-out strategy for such investigations. This article aims to demystify this subject and define high-level criteria that can be used to identify the needs and admissibility of digital evidence in court.

Can a driver be responsible for the death of a passenger with heart problems?
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 30 April 2019

The Supreme Court recently examined the issue of causality arising from a road traffic accident. The first-instance court had found the defendant guilty of causing death by want of precaution or carelessness and of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of fatigue. The Supreme Court rejected the subsequent appeal and confirmed that, despite having taken a simplistic approach, the first-instance court had reached the correct conclusion by applying common sense and experience.

Amendment of Judicial Practice Code
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 19 March 2019

The Judicial Practice Code was recently amended to provide that no judge, whether sitting alone or as a member of a panel of judges of an adjudicating court, can hear a case in which a party is represented by a lawyer who is a family member of the judge or works in the same firm or office as a family member of the judge. The recent media focus in Cyprus on the alleged impartiality of certain judges was the impetus behind the changes.

Supreme Court revokes first-instance court's decision on statement of claim amendments
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 26 February 2019

The Supreme Court recently overturned a first-instance court's decision to reject a request to amend a statement of claim under Rule 25 of the Civil Procedure Rules on the grounds that the amendment amounted to a new cause of action. The Supreme Court found that the proposed amendments merely referenced actions by the defendants which supported their existing claim and did not amount to a new cause of action.

New statutory interest rate on judicial awards enters into force
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 19 February 2019

The minister of finance recently announced that the statutory rate of interest on judgments pursuant to Article 33 of the Courts of Justice Law has been reduced to 2% per annum with effect from 1 January 2019. This rate will apply for the entirety of 2019.

Court dismisses defendants' application in limitation period case
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 29 January 2019

Limitation periods in Cyprus were suspended for many years. However, in 2012 the Limitation of Actionable Rights Law was enacted to reintroduce time limits for the filing of civil claims. In a recent case, the District Court of Limassol held that the law on limitation periods, together with Article 30.2 of the Constitution, imposes specific time limits to ensure the rule of finality and distinguish between bona fide and mala fide civil and criminal procedures.

Absence of claimant results in claim dismissal
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 22 January 2019

The Supreme Court recently upheld a lower court's decision to dismiss an appellant's claim in first-instance proceedings. The claimant had been the only witness in her case, but – after failing to attend the hearing on the appointed date – had requested an adjournment of the case through her lawyers on the grounds that she was unable to attend due to absence abroad for health reasons. The defendant's lawyer had not initially objected to the proposal to adjourn.

Supreme Court judgment on appointment of IT experts
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 04 December 2018

The Supreme Court recently issued an innovative judgment relating to Norwich Pharmacal orders which demonstrates the Cyprus courts' readiness to stay abreast of technological developments. The claimant alleged that he was the victim of fraud and conspiracy in connection with online foreign currency trading. The Supreme Court upheld the first-instance decision to appoint an independent computer expert who would provide the technical expertise required to implement the order for disclosure of the information.

Administrative Court's judgment on purported changes to terms of public procurement competitions
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 20 November 2018

The Cyprus Administrative Court recently resolved the question of to which extent, if any, an action of a contracting authority can modify the published terms of the competition in a public procurement process. The court rejected the recourse filed by the applicant, which had sought to annul the decision of the Municipality of Limassol, as contracting authority, to award the contract to another tenderer.

Court procedure when enforcing European Account Preservation Orders in Cyprus
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 06 November 2018

EU Regulation 655/2014 recently established a European Account Preservation Order procedure to facilitate cross-border debt recovery. In Cyprus, claimants must file an application for such an order at the district court with jurisdiction over the main dispute. The Cyprus courts have always required appropriate security to be provided for freezing orders and are likely to adopt a conservative approach to prevent abuse of the procedure. It is hoped that the courts of other member states will also adopt a balanced approach.

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