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Civil Procedure rules Cyprus

Exploring Part 35 Of The New Civil Procedure Rules Of Cyprus

The new Civil Procedure Rules of Cyprus (set to come into force in September 2023) will introduce a set of provisions under Part 35, which focus on “Offers to Settle” in civil proceedings. These rules aim to encourage parties to settle their disputes amicably, without the need for a trial, and outline the consequences of such offers. Part 35 of the Cyprus Civil Procedure Rules bears a striking resemblance to Part 36 of the UK Civil Procedure Rules, which also governs offers to settle.

Part 35 of the new Cyprus Civil Procedure Rules

Part 35 covers various aspects of offers to settle, including the scope, procedure, and consequences of making, accepting, or rejecting such offers. The key features of this part can be summarized as follows:

  1. Scope: Part 35 applies to any proceedings, regardless of whether there is a claim for money (Rule 35.1).
  2. Procedure: The rules outline the procedures for making, accepting, and withdrawing offers to settle (Rules 35.3 – 35.11). Offers must be made in writing, served on the offeree and other parties, and may be withdrawn only if the offeree has not served a notice of acceptance (Rule 35.5, 35.10, and 35.11).
  3. Timing: Offers to settle can be made at any time but must be made no later than 21 days before the beginning of the trial (Rule 35.4).
  4. Content: Offers must state whether they relate to the whole or part of the proceedings, whether they include interest or costs, and whether they take into account any counterclaims (Rules 35.6 – 35.8).
  5. Consequences: The rules detail the consequences of accepting or not accepting an offer to settle, including the impact on costs and interest (Rules 35.12 – 35.13).

1. Scope of Part 35

Part 35 of the new Civil Procedure Rules outlines rules concerning offers to settle that a party may make to another party and the consequences of those offers. Importantly, these rules do not limit a party’s right to make an offer to settle in ways other than in accordance with Part 35, but any such offers will not have the consequences specified in this Part.

2. Making Offers to Settle

An offer to settle under Part 35 may be made in any proceedings, whether or not there is a claim for money. A party making the offer is referred to as the “offeror,” and the recipient of the offer is the “offeree.” An offer is considered made when delivered to the offeree.

3. Procedure for Making Offers to Settle

An offer to settle under Part 35 must be in writing and served on the offeree and a copy on all other parties. The fact or amount of the offer may not be communicated to the court until all questions relating to liability and the amount of money to be awarded have been decided.

4. Time Limit for Making Offers to Settle

A party may make an offer to settle under Part 35 at any time, but not later than 21 days before the beginning of the trial.

5. Offer Contents and Stipulations

Offers to settle must clearly state whether they cover the entire claim, part of the claim, or specific issues arising from the claim. The offer must also specify whether it includes interest, costs, or counterclaims and provide amounts for each if applicable.

6. Time Limit for Accepting Offers to Settle

The offeror may set a specific date for the offer to remain open for acceptance. For the purposes of Part 35, an offer must be open for acceptance for at least 21 days to have any effect on the court’s decision regarding the consequences of the offer.

7. Procedure for Acceptance

To accept an offer under Part 35, a party must serve written notice of acceptance to the offeror and deliver a copy of the notice to any other party. Acceptance takes effect when the notice is served on the offeror.

8. Withdrawing an Offer

An offer under Part 35 can only be withdrawn if the offeree has not previously served notice of acceptance. The offeror may withdraw the offer by serving written notice of withdrawal on the offeree.

9. Effect of Acceptance

Acceptance of an offer that covers the whole claim results in the claim being stayed on the terms of the offer. In cases where court approval is required for settlement, any stay arising from acceptance takes effect only when the court grants its approval.

10. Costs Consequences of Not Accepting an Offer

If the defendant makes an offer that is not accepted and the court awards less than the full amount of the defendant’s offer, the claimant must pay the defendant’s costs incurred after the latest date the offer could have been accepted. Conversely, if the claimant makes an offer that is not accepted and the court awards an equal or higher amount, the court may take into account the defendant’s failure to accept the offer when determining interest and costs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Part 35 of the new Civil Procedure Rules in Cyprus presents a comprehensive framework for managing offers to settle in civil litigation proceedings. Part 35 of the new Civil Procedure Rules in Cyprus aims to encourage parties to settle disputes before trial by providing clear guidelines and consequences. By streamlining the process of offers to settle, these new rules aim to encourage parties to resolve disputes more efficiently and facilitate a fair allocation of costs in litigation proceedings in Cyprus.

The resemblance of Part 35 to Part 36 of the UK Civil Procedure Rules highlights the shared goal of both jurisdictions to encourage dispute resolution without resorting to a trial. Legal practitioners in Cyprus should familiarize themselves with these new rules and consider their implications when advising clients on dispute resolution strategies.

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