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Last update: 24-05-2006
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Legal aid - Cyprus

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. What are the costs of a trial and who should normally pay them? 1.
2. What is legal aid? 2.
3. Can I benefit from legal aid? 3.
4. Can legal aid be obtained for all disputes? 4.
5. Is there a specific procedure for emergencies? 5.
6. Where can I obtain an application form for legal aid? 6.
7. Which documents should I attach to my request for legal aid? 7.
8. Where should I register my request for legal aid? 8.
9. How will I be informed of whether or not I am eligible for legal aid? 9.
10. If I qualify for legal aid, what should I do? 10.
11. If I qualify for legal aid, who will choose my lawyer? 11.
12. If I qualify for legal aid, will this cover all the costs of my trial? 12.
13. If I qualify for partial legal aid, who will pay the other costs? 13.
14. If I qualify for legal aid, will it cover any review I might make following the trial? 14.
15. If I qualify for legal aid, can it be withdrawn before the end of the trial (or even after the trial) ? 15.
16. If I do not qualify for legal aid, can I appeal against this decision? 16.

 

1. What are the costs of a trial and who should normally pay them?

The costs of the trial depend on the nature of the case and include all the costs of the judicial process. Usually, they include the costs of the procedure, the cost of drawing up legal documents and registering interim applications, the cost of the hearing and of appearances before and after the hearing, the costs of witnesses, the cost of drawing up the bill of costs and the cost of letters before and during the procedure. In civil cases and private criminal cases the court decides who should pay the costs of the proceedings at the end of the case after taking account of the specific features / circumstances of the case.

In civil cases and private criminal cases the losing party normally pays all the costs. However, there are exceptions, and the court may decide that each party should pay its own costs.

In criminal cases the court determines the costs of the proceedings on the basis of the complexity of the case.

2. What is legal aid?

Legal aid is a benefit which normally includes the provision of advice and of assistance with the taking of any legal steps relating to proceedings, as well as representation by a lawyer in court. Representation includes every form of assistance which a lawyer usually provides in connection with proceedings at all stages up to the issue of a judgment, at the appeal stage, and, in criminal proceedings, at any preliminary stage before the proceedings proper begin.

3. Can I benefit from legal aid?

Any natural person (a Cyprus national or a foreign national) who can provide proof of his inability to pay his legal costs on the ground that paying the costs would restrict his ability to meet his basic needs and family obligations is entitled to legal aid.

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4. Can legal aid be obtained for all disputes?

Legal aid is provided for proceedings before Cypriot courts as follows:

(a) for criminal proceedings in a district court, an assize court, a military court and the Supreme Court;

(b) for civil and criminal proceedings involving specified violations of human rights;

(c) for proceedings before a family court relating to family relationships, parental custody, maintenance, legitimation of a child, adoption, proprietary relations between spouses and any other dispute in a marriage or in the family;

(d) in cross-border disputes.

5. Is there a specific procedure for emergencies?

In an emergency the lawyer may request the court which will hear the case to issue a legal aid certificate. In that circumstance the court gives the necessary priority to examination of the request.

6. Where can I obtain an application form for legal aid?

A special form is available from the registry of the court which has jurisdiction to examine the application for legal aid, depending on the circumstance. The applicant or his lawyer should complete the form and submit it to the court which will hear the case, so that it can be filed in the special register of the same registry.

7. Which documents should I attach to my request for legal aid?

A written declaration giving general information concerning your personal particulars, occupation, earnings and income, assets and family situation etc.

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(Form 2 of the legal aid application).

8. Where should I register my request for legal aid?

The request should be registered at the court which will hear your case.

9. How will I be informed of whether or not I am eligible for legal aid?

By any legal service (courts, legal service, the chief registrar of the Supreme Court, the registrar of a district court, the Ministry of Justice and Public Order, the Cyprus Bar Association, a local bar association).

10. If I qualify for legal aid, what should I do?

You should make a written request to the court which will hear your case, asking it to issue a legal aid certificate.

11. If I qualify for legal aid, who will choose my lawyer?

The beneficiary of legal aid selects a lawyer from among those who are willing to offer their services. If the person does not designate a lawyer of his choice, the court which issued the legal aid certificate invites the beneficiary to choose the lawyer of his preference from a list of lawyers who are willing to provide legal aid services prepared by the Cyprus Bar Association.

12. If I qualify for legal aid, will this cover all the costs of my trial?

If the court issues a legal aid certificate, all of your costs will be covered.

13. If I qualify for partial legal aid, who will pay the other costs?

There is no provision for partial legal aid in Cypriot law. See reply 12.

14. If I qualify for legal aid, will it cover any review I might make following the trial?

Legal aid is available at every level of jurisdiction (primary and secondary). That means that if you received legal aid in the proceedings at first instance, you are entitled to claim legal aid also in any subsequent procedure relating to your case. The issue of a new certificate, after the submission of a new written application, is required for proceedings in a higher court.

15. If I qualify for legal aid, can it be withdrawn before the end of the trial (or even after the trial) ?

The court may withdraw the legal aid certificate, ex officio or at the request of the Attorney-General, if there is a substantial change in your personal and financial circumstances. Withdrawal of the certificate does not affect the right of any lawyer to payment for services provided up to the date of the withdrawal.

16. If I do not qualify for legal aid, can I appeal against this decision?

There is a right of appeal against a decision not to issue a legal aid certificate on the basis of the general rule that all court decisions are appealable.

Further information

You can obtain further information from the chief registrar of the Supreme Court by phoning 22865716 from within Cyprus or + 357 22865716 from abroad, or from the Legal Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Justice and Public Order by phoning 22805922 or 2285946 from within Cyprus or + 357 2280922 or + 357 22805946 from abroad.



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Last update: 24-05-2006

 
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