On the 26th February 2021, the Amending Law 14 (I) of 2021 was published in the Gazette of the Republic, by which lawyers will be able to accept an oath before them in the affidavits. Specifically, Article 2 is amended as follows:
- "Lawyer" means a person who is registered in the Register of Practicing Advocates in accordance with the provisions of the Advocates Law, CAP 2;
- "Register oath Lawyers" means the record kept by the Registrar in accordance with the provisions of subparagraph (iv) of Article 3; "
Moreover, Article 3 of the Law, as amended, specifies that a lawyer must practice law for at least five (5) consecutive years and, at the request of the applicant together with the necessary certificates, to be approved by the Supreme Court for entry in the Register of Sworn Lawyers.
It must be noted that Article 3 indicates that "a lawyer must not accept the oath, affirmation, affidavit or statement or the preparation of such a document before him, if either himself or another lawyer working in the same law firm, represents the person who intends to take the oath or any other person who is part of the proceedings or is related to it or to the matter for which an oath is taken, or if he has an interest in the case, or has a 3rd degree kinship with any of the above persons".
Subsequent to this, Article 3A states that an advocate, registered in the Register of Practicing Advocates, when taking an oath, affirmation, affidavit or statement, falsely certifies that he has the defendant before him or does not take the appropriate actions to certify his identity or violates the provisions of Article 3, is guilty due to a breach and, in case of conviction, will be subject to imprisonment for no more than 2 years or otherwise to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or both.
The above can be stipulated without the need for citizens to go to the Courts of the Republic of Cyprus. Based on the statement by the Ministry of Justice, this will have as an aim to decongestion of the Courts mainly for extrajudicial cases, as well as saving time for the personnel of the Judicial Service.
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.