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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A written declaration giving general information concerning your personal particulars, occupation, earnings and income, assets and family situation etc.
(Form 2 of the legal aid application).
The request should be registered at the court which will hear your case.
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).
You should make a written request to the court which will hear your case, asking it to issue a legal aid certificate.
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.
If the court issues a legal aid certificate, all of your costs will be covered.
There is no provision for partial legal aid in Cypriot law. See reply 12.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last update: 24-05-2006