Cyprus: Cyprus Rules Of Jurisdiction

 The European Union in 2000 adopted the Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in court cases. This Regulation lays down the rules on court's jurisdiction with an international dimension involving more than one Member State. Furthermore, it provides a harmonized approach in determining which EU Member State court should have jurisdiction over a dispute and how judgments from courts in one EU Member State should be recognized and enforced in other EU Member States.

From January 1, 2015 on, the Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012, of the European Parliament and the Council of 12 December, 2012, on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters ("Brussels I-bis") applies replacing the Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. The goal of this new Regulation is to create international jurisdiction and lis pendens, that will improve fundamental aspects such as recognition and enforcement of decisions. The Regulation has a key role in forming a complete European procedural international law that prevails in the relations between the EU members and limits the practical significance of national procedural law. It replaces the Regulation 44/2001, repeating primarily its provisions and exceptionally introducing new and revising old ones. Cyprus as a Member State of the EU is bound by Brussels I-bis Regulation.

This article confines to the part concerning the cases, which, Cypriot courts based on the above Regulation, have jurisdiction to solve a dispute with an international dimension. This point is the most significant of all, since once you are involved in a judicial procedure, or if you expect to be involved in one, you will need to identify the court that has jurisdiction.

The basic principle is that jurisdiction is to be exercised by the Court of the EU State, in which the defendant is domiciled, regardless of his/her nationality. So, if the defendant is domiciled in Cyprus, the Cypriot courts have jurisdiction to resolve the dispute. Nevertheless, the Regulation contains a number of provisions that depart from this principle and allows court proceedings to take place in another Member State, other than where the defendant is domiciled. The most important examples of these exemption rules are:

  1. In matters relating to a contractual obligation a person can be sued in the courts of the place of performance of that obligation.
  2. In a case involving damages, the courts of the place where the harmful event occurred are competent. Sometimes the place of the event gives rise to liability in tort and the place where that damage results are not located in the same Member State. In that case the plaintiff is free to select the court of any of those Member States (See Case 21/76 Bier v Mines de potasse d'alsace).
  3. in matters relating to maintenance, the maintenance creditor can turn to the courts of the Member State in which he himself is domiciled.
  4. In some contractual relationships that are characterized by a marked imbalance of power between the parties such as matters relating to consumer contracts, insurance and to individual contracts of employment the weaker party is deemed to be in need of special protection. As a general rule, the weaker parties (the consumer, the insured and the employee) can only be sued in the Member State where they are domiciled. The stronger parties (the dealer, the insurer, the employer), on the other hand, can also be sued (sometimes subject to certain conditions, in the Member State) where the weaker party is domiciled or as regards employment contracts, where the work is carried out.

To sum up, if the place of performance of the obligation or the place where the harmful event occurred is Cyprus, if the maintenance creditor or the weaker party is domiciled in Cyprus or if the work is carried out in Cyprus, then the Cypriot courts have jurisdiction to resolve the dispute.

The rules on special jurisdiction listed above constitute an additional option for the plaintiff who can also choose to sue the defendant in the courts of the Member State in which that person is domiciled. However, there are several cases of so-called exclusive jurisdiction that do not supplement but replace the jurisdiction based on the defendant's domicile such as:

  1. In matters relating to the ownership or tenancy of immovable property, only the courts of the Member State where the property is situated have jurisdiction.
  2. In matters relating to rights that have to be registered such as patents or trademarks, the courts of the Member State in which the registration has taken place are exclusively competent.
  3. Subject to some conditions, the parties also have the possibility of freely choosing the Member State whose courts are to have jurisdiction. Such a choice of court agreement usually leads to the exclusive competence of the courts of the chosen Member State unless the parties stipulate otherwise.

In other words, the Cypriot courts have exclusive jurisdiction to resolve the dispute, if the property is situated in Cyprus, if the registration has taken place in Cyprus or if the parties freely choose the Cypriot courts to have jurisdiction. What is necessary to mention is that, subject to certain exceptions, the mere fact that the defendant enters an appearance in court, leads to the jurisdiction of the courts of that Member State even if they are not ordinarily competent.

Also, it may happen that both parties of a dispute initiate court proceedings on the same matter in different Member States. In this case the Regulation establishes a "first come first served" rule. The second court used has to stay its proceedings and wait for the other court to decide on its jurisdiction. If the first court considers itself competent, the other court has to dismiss the case. Only if the first court comes to the conclusion that it does not have jurisdiction, the other court can continue its proceedings. Νevertheless, a new exception was introduced in the new article 31, which gives preference to the court that is hearing the case due to a prorogation of jurisdiction agreement.

It is worth mentioning that, the International commercial arbitration is an alternative method of resolving disputes arising from commercial transactions between private parties across national borders that allows the parties to avoid litigation in national courts.

In conclusion, private international law is considered a particularly difficult, very technical juridical branch. Not surprisingly, it is considered as the "nuclear physics" of legal science. But if one understands the peculiarities and its mechanisms, then he is fascinated by the variety of issues that arise within and from the logical processes required for their solution. The charm is enhanced by the fact that private international law is the window to the legal world outside their country, which provides a diverse view and is constantly changing. It is no exaggeration to say, that almost everything new that appears in legal science comes largely from the private international law.

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”

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
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.