Cyprus introduces new court to examine asylum appeals
The Cypriot Minister of the Interior, Constantinos Petrides, has announced that all asylum application appeals will now be handled by the new International Protection Administrative Court. This specialised court, which began operations on 18 June 2019, is responsible for examining appeals related to the refugee law, including appeals of rejected asylum applications. By moving these appeals to a specialised court, the government hopes to address the extended delays in reviewing them.
In his statement to the media, following a meeting of the Cabinet, Mr Petrides stated that the establishment of the new court means that the Republic of Cyprus’ refugee reviewing authority will not be accepting any more asylum applications. He added that the Cabinet decided to suspend the operations of the refugee reviewing authority after July 18, giving time to process about 1,700 outstanding asylum applications.
According to data of the European Asylum Support Office, asylum claims in Cyprus rose 69 per cent between 2017 and 2018, making it the top receiving countries on a per capita basis. In 2018, Cyprus received 7,765 applications for asylum compared to 4,600 in 2017. The applications have steadily increased since 2014, where there were 1,745 applications.