A new administrative court specialized in international protection has been set up in Cyprus in order to speed up the examination of appeals against asylum claim rejections.
Last month Cyprus adopted a law that established an International Protection Administrative Court (IPAC) that will be in charge of examining appeals concerning refugee law. The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) said in a statement that the Cypriot justice ministry holds that the IPAC will help ensure faster examination of asylum claim rejection appeals.
Two years for appeals procedure
The IPAC will be competent for examining appeals relating to provisions of the Refugee Law, including appeals against negative decisions on asylum applications, Dublin transfer decisions or decisions reducing or withdrawing reception conditions. The establishment of the IPAC is expected to contribute to a more rapid examination of pending asylum appeals, against the backdrop of a rising backlog of cases before the Administrative Court.
Currently, appeals against asylum decisions take approximately two years to be decided. The IPAC will be composed of three judges appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council, who shall have extensive knowledge of administrative law and international protection or proven experience in handling cases within the competence of the court.
Criteria for 'risk of absconding'
Another legislative reform published in July 2018, Law No 80(I) 2018, brings about an amendment to the Cypriot Refugee Law, which sets out a list of criteria for determining the existence of a "risk of absconding", allowing for detention in a Dublin procedure. Such criteria include: non-compliance with a return decision; non-compliance with or obstruction of a Dublin transfer, or a reasonably verified intention of non-compliance; provision of false or misleading information; previous expulsion or return; false statements on the person's address of usual residence; previous absconding; abandonment of a reception centre; unfounded statements in the course of the Dublin interview; deliberate destruction of identity or travel documents and failure to cooperate with the Cypriot authorities with a view to establishing identity or nationality.