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Limitations law amendment (updated)

Amendments to the Statute of Limitations Law have been published in the Cyprus Gazette and will be welcomed by anyone wishing to issue legal proceedings against another party.

limitation law THE CYPRUS Limitations Law (66(1) 2012) imposes time limits on which a party must bring a claim or give notice of a claim to the other party. Once the limitation period has expired, a party is prohibited from starting a claim against another party.

However, since its introduction in 2012 MPs have voted on three occasions to extend its one year ‘transition period’, which was initially designed to allow those who were approaching limitation to issue proceedings:

In May 2013 MPs voted to extend the transition period until 31st December 2013, giving an additional six months for those wishing to issue proceedings to do so before the transition period expired.

In December 2013 MPs voted once again to extend the transition period – this time by a further 12 months until 31st December 2014.

In December 2014 MPs voted yet again to extend the transition period by a further 12 months until 31st December 2015. It was reported that the extension was needed to give banks sufficient time to proceed with debt settlements.

With the impending deadline to file claims less than two weeks away, individuals and lawyers acting on behalf of their clients issued legal proceedings at courts around Cyprus. Many of these related to the alleged mis-selling of loans denominated in Swiss francs and other foreign currencies.

Latest limitations law amendment

Now, in a move that appears to have gone unnoticed by the press, the Statute of Limitations Law has been amended for a fourth time; details have been published in the Cyprus Government Gazette.

However, this latest amendment doesn’t extend the transition period, it does something much better – it calculates the limitation period from 1st January 2016 rather than the date of the cause of the action.

Further reading (added 30th December 2015)

Statute of Limitations Law (Law 66(I)/2012) (approximate English translation of the law as published in the Cyprus Gazette on 23rd December 2015)

Readers' comments

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  • sj says:

    @Editor – I’m in the same situation as Christine (the comment left on the 27th Dec). What does “Providing the limitation period that relates to your claim has not expired” really mean? Can you please elaborate on this point. Thank you.

    (Editor’s comment: I’m waiting for ratification on this point. But here’s what I think the situation is:

    This revised law came into effect on 23rd December and contains some transitional provisions (refer to article 26 of the English translation of the law.) This article 26 transitional provision will be repealed on 1st January 2016.

    Had this transitional provision not been included many claims that had yet to be filed would have been time-barred.

    I think this transitional provision enables claims to be lodged until 31st December after this law came into force on 23rd December without them being time-barred. (This has the same effect as the previous extensions to the law’s transition period.)

    And on/after 1st January 2016 claims will only be accepted if their limitation period has not expired.

    But as I say I’m waiting for clarification and it appears from emails I’ve received different law firms have different opinions.

    If you have a claim, I suggest you have it filed before the end of the year to cover all eventualities.)

  • Janice says:

    I have heard of 2 law firms both questioning the wording – apparently open to interpretation, and so the time limit for filing could still be determined as 31.12.15. The amendment could be a trick by those in authority to dissuade claimants filing to favour the banks, so they can push through more claims without fear of a valid defence. Why publish this so late too? Stresses out the lawyers trying to help us, and causes them to lose much of their seasonal break. Very unfair. Well, this is Cyprus!

    (Editor’s comment: Yes – the original law law was drafted awkwardly and I expect the confusion continues in the latest revision – and the timing adds to the confusion as lawyers scratch their heads trying to interpret its provisions.

    I know that a number of law firms were filing claims before the 31st December deadline and I imagine they’re advising their remaining clients to file before the end of the year just in case.

    The amendment (N. 207(I)/2015) was published in the Cyprus Gazette on 23rd December, but unfortunately the Gazette is not available to the public. I expect it will by published on-line in CYLAW (which is open to the public) eventually.)

  • Nicholas says:

    Does this mean that there is no more an extended Limit as its calculated from 1st January 2016? I just paid a lot of Euros to lodge a claim in a court before 31st Dec 2015. What happens now?

    (Editor’s comment: This change will not affect your claim.)

  • Christine says:

    Does this mean that if you have not yet lodged your claim/intent to claim and won’t be able before the 31st that you will still be able to proceed in the new year? I’m away with limited access to Internet and seriously concerned about this issue.

    (Editor’s comment: Yes, providing the limitation period that relates to your claim has not expired.)

  • Aggis Demetriou says:

    Pleased to hear the limitations law has been extended, Great news.

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.

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