Cyprus: Amendments To Pleadings – Factors That Guide Courts' Discretion


Order 25, Rule 1 of the Civil Procedure Rules gives courts the discretionary power to allow amendments to pleadings. Well-settled principles on amendments to pleadings laid down in landmark English cases have historically been adopted and followed by the Cyprus courts.

The relevant case law confirms that the courts generally adopt a relatively permissive approach when exercising their discretion in this regard, allowing amendments to pleadings in most cases. This is in line with the principles of justice, as amendments aim to identify the relevant issues and facts and to play out the real disputes between parties, with the proviso that any party prejudiced should be compensated for costs. The rationale behind this is that amendments to pleadings help to clarify disputed matters, determine the real controversy between the parties and avoid multiple proceedings.

Ultimately, courts aim to do justice. In order to achieve this, the court will look at the facts of each particular case and exercise its discretion, guided by certain principles. In exercising its discretion, the court is required to strike a balance between conflicting considerations. For example, the court will normally allow an amendment that clarifies the issues in dispute, but it will not do so if it believes that the amendment will adversely affect the opposing party or hinder the overall process of the trial.


A number of recent Cyprus court decisions highlight the underlying factors that courts will apply in order to determine whether an amendment is justified. These underlying factors are outlined below.


The party requesting an amendment must demonstrate that the amendment is necessary. Amendments that help to clarify the matters in dispute and that avoid multiple proceedings will usually be allowed, as long as they cause no injustice to the respondent. However, the court will not allow any amendment that it considers superfluous.

Nature and extent

The court will consider the nature and extent of the amendments requested, and whether they are material, substantial or extensive, in order to determine whether approving the application may cause the issues in dispute to be redefined.

Party's conduct

The court will also consider the conduct of the party requesting the amendment and the reason why the amendment was submitted at a particular stage of the proceedings. If a party requests an amendment late in the proceedings, it must show a sufficient cause to justify the delay and explain not only why it is pursuing a late application, but also why it did not make the amendments earlier. The court will be less likely to allow amendments if it finds that, by exercising proper diligence, the party could have raised the matter at an earlier stage.

In a recent Nicosia District Court1 case, the plaintiff applied to amend its statement of claim more than eight years after initiating proceedings. The court refused the application, finding that the applicant had not adequately justified its conduct to date, particularly its tardiness in applying to amend the pleadings.

While delay in submitting an application to amend does not constitute, on its own, a reason for dismissing the request, the court will look for a valid justification for the delay, keeping in mind the opposing party's constitutional right to be heard within reasonable time. The court based its judgment on an earlier case2 in which an application to amend the statement of defence was filed 11 years after filing of the writ of summons. The application was dismissed at first instance and the Cyprus Supreme Court upheld the judgment.

Hearing commencement

Once the hearing of the case has begun, the court will consider an application to amend from a different perspective. While commencement of the hearing alone does not constitute an insuperable obstacle to an amendment, the court will exercise its discretion more sparingly. It will be reluctant to allow an amendment if the applicant has failed to demonstrate clearly that it could not have raised the issue before the trial commenced. In addition, the court will consider whether the opposing party has finished giving evidence, in which case the amended pleading will constitute a fait accompli, unless the opposing party is allowed to recall witnesses or call new ones.

This was an issue in Famanet v Reuters. By the time the plaintiff presented its application, not only had the hearing of the case begun, but also the plaintiff had presented six witnesses. The court dismissed the application on the grounds that the delay was inordinate, the procedure was at an advanced stage and there were real dangers that the defendants' constitutional rights would be adversely affected if the amendment were allowed, since the witnesses that the plaintiff had already presented would need to be recalled for cross-examination.

Similarly, in Jamal Khan v The Republic of Pakistan, the Supreme Court upheld the first-instance judgment, dismissing an application to amend the statement of defence after the hearing of the case had begun and was at an advanced stage. Among its reasons for dismissing the application, the court noted that if the application had been allowed, the evidence already given would need to be ignored as it might contradict evidence given in the framework of the amended pleading.


The court will also look for any inherent risk that the procedure might be derailed from its normal route. In Famanet, the court noted that this was one of its reasons for refusing the application.


The court will also assess whether the amendment will create a prejudice against the respondent – for example, by infringing Section 30.2 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time. The court must be mindful of any additional delay that the amendment might cause, the need to call or recall witnesses, as well as any advantage that the applicant will gain over the respondent if the amendment is allowed. The court will not allow any amendment that might cause the other party irreparable damage or injustice that cannot be monetarily compensated. In Jamal Khan v The Republic of Pakistan, the Supreme Court put considerable weight on the fact that allowing the amendment would irreparably damage the respondents' case and that the respondents could not be monetarily compensated. This was because they had already closed their case and therefore did not have the opportunity to address the issues raised in the requested amendments. In support of its decision, the Supreme Court quoted the following passage from the Paphos District Court judgment:3

"With the requested amendment the applicants wish to change their admission by adding provisions of the foreign law which contradict their admissions. Having, however, in mind that the plaintiffs have adapted their evidence on the basis of these admissions and that the applicants have cross-examined the plaintiffs' witnesses on the basis of these admissions, possible approval of the request at this stage will cause injustice to the plaintiff's case."

Type of amendment

Finally, the court will look at whether:

  • the requested amendment would result in the introduction of a new cause of action;
  • the applicant is seeking to introduce facts that did not exist at the time of filing the writ; or
  • the applicant is seeking to present an entirely new case.

In Branco Forcan v Hemslade Trading Ltd,4 the Nicosia District Court dismissed an application for amendment of the statement of claim on the grounds that the amendments would introduce a new cause of action based on facts that took place after filing of the action which did not exist when the writ of summons was filed. The court distinguished this from a case where an amendment is sought in order to add facts that occurred after filing of the case, but which support the initial cause of action.


While the courts will not allow parties to amend their pleadings as a right, neither will they reject applications for amendment arbitrarily. The following passages encapsulate the approach that the courts will adopt:

"We are of the opinion that in view of the long delay which has been noted in submitting the application for amendment, the nature and extent of the requested amendments which in essence redefine the issues in dispute, the fact that the case is pending for more than ten years, the real danger of irreparable damage, the negative impact on the respondents' rights, including the danger to breach section 30.2 of the Constitution due to the additional delay that will be caused and the necessity to call and recall witnesses, we hereby decide that the first instance Court has correctly exercised its discretion and did not grant leave for amendment.5

The opponents' rights cannot be put in danger neither can the case sustain any further inconvenience at such a late stage with obvious dangers of deviation because the plaintiff has negligently, as it appears from its own allegation, failed to ask for the requested amendment earlier although it has the opportunity to have done so."6

The courts will exercise their discretion on a case-by-case basis, carefully considering the guidelines outlined above in order to strike the appropriate balance between the parties in a way that will best serve in the interest of justice.

Originally published by International Law Office.


1 Action 475/2006, Nicosia District Court, Famanet Holdings Ltd v Reuters Telerate LLC.

2 Civil Appeal 295/2010, Jamal Khan v The Republic of Pakistan.

3 Action 1259/99, September 15 2010, in the Paphos District Court.

4 Action 4739/2010, Branco Forcan v Hemslade Trading Ltd.

5 Civil Appeal 295/2010, Jamal Khan v The Republic of Pakistan.

6 Action 475/2006, Nicosia District Court, Famanet Holdings Ltd v Reuters Telerate LLC.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions