Government seeks to reduce delays in commercial arbitration disputes
In an effort to speed up financial disputes, the government has decided to support the creation of a commercial arbitration court to settle claims involving millions.
This arbitration court will preside over civil cases, of a commercial nature, in which one side is demanding more than EUR 2 mln in damages.
The new court will be established once a bill prepared by the Justice Ministry is passed by parliament.
It aims to strengthen Cyprus’ competitiveness as a centre for the provision of quality services and attracting foreign investment.
The move was welcomed community.
Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) said the establishment of the Court will also help attract foreign investment by enhancing the country’s long-term economic growth.
“Faster delivery of justice and the fight against corruption are major issues for the business world as they hinder healthy business and discourage foreign investors,” said CCCI.
Employers federation (OEB) official Antonis Frangoudis told the Financial Mirror that Cyprus is paying a price for reports and indices prepared by international bodies revealing on the one hand the high level of corruption and on the other our low performance in governance.
“Currently there is no such arbitration court, and such cases take up to 10 years to be resolved in civil courts. One can understand that such delays in delivering justice is a turn off for foreign investors,” said Frangoudis.
This was also noted in a competitiveness carried out by the World Trade Forum.
Cyprus needs to see the creation of a series of specialist courts which would help to speed up the process of delivering justice and in doing so increase the country’s credibility in the eyes of foreign investors.
“OEB would like to see more specialised courts with trained stuff which would not only speed up cases involving technology, but also provide a fairer outcome,” said Frangoudis.
Asked to comment on the possible cost such a transformation of the justice system will have on government coffers, Frangoudis said that such a development would outweigh costs by more than five times as this would mean an upgrade of Cyprus in the eyes of investors and will attract more income.
Once the bill is approved two commercial arbitration courts, one in Nicosia and one in Limassol, will be operational to handle 300 cases a year.