Minister of Justice and Public Order, Stephie Dracos assured on Wednesday she is determined and dedicated to implement the justice reform and she will do whatever it takes to see the reform materialised.
In a speech at the Final Conference of the project `Modernising the Civil Procedure Rules in Cyprus”, she said that today’s ceremony marks the completion of a significant project of the reform agenda. The review of the Civil Procedure Rules is one of the essential components of the ongoing justice reform and constitutes a significant part of the ambitious plan of the Government for the holistic and profound reform of justice.
The reform aims at building a modern and efficient system for administering justice, having as its primary objective the timely delivery of justice.
Among others it promotes flexibility, simplification of the procedures, specialization through the establishment of new specialized Courts.
Moreover, it focuses on the enhancement of transparency, the introduction of the necessary checks and balances, and the effective management of the current backlog of cases. Clearly, from such an ambitious Reform, said Dracos, the integration of technology and the introduction of modern IT systems and processes could not be absent.
The Minister, however, said “we remain vigilant and determined, focusing our efforts on collectively overcoming the remaining few concerns regarding the bills currently before Parliament so that we deliver a fast, transparent, accessible and quality Judicial System, for which we will all be proud of”.
She also expressed optimism that the reform will hopefully be concluded the following year.
Turning to the reform, she said the new Civil Procedure Rules constitute a milestone towards the modernisation of the justice system and the overall reform. Their adoption and implementation will lead to the equitable distribution of the judicial time and the timely delivery of justice, through strict case management. According to the new Rules, the timelines for the trial of the case will be planned from the outset, while the procedures will become more flexible and efficient. This will address the problem of continuous postponements, which currently unnecessarily prolong the length of the proceedings and raise legal costs.
Understandably, this is not the end of the road, but the beginning for the next, also important, steps: the smooth transition to the application on the field of the new Civil Procedure Rules, so that these be impactful and provide tangible results.
The conclusion of the Civil Procedures Rules today illustrates that what once may look elusive or unachievable can be realised through collective efforts, hard work, open-mindedness and commitment to the general goal.
I hope that this excellent achievement will be a beacon of hope for the three bills related to the reform of the highest level of jurisdiction and that are currently discussed in the Parliament, she remarked.
Minister Dracos expressed gratitude towards Lord Dyson who was leading the Committee of Experts, and who managed to deliver an excellent piece of work on a rather technical and difficult project. She also thanked the Supreme Court for their dedication and commitment, and especially the Rules Committee for their hard work and their active role and important contributions to the drafting and finalization of the Rules.
Concluding, Dracos reaffirmed the “commitment of the Government for actively supporting of the implementation of reforms”, adding she is “determined and dedicated to implementing this reform and I shall do whatever it takes, investing as much time as necessary, to see this Reform being materialised”.