Regular procedure

Cyprus

Author

FutureWorldsCenter (FWC)

General (scope, time limits) 

According to the law, the Asylum Service shall ensure that the examination procedure is concluded as soon as possible, without prejudice to an adequate and complete examination.1 Furthermore the Asylum Service shall ensure that the examination procedure is concluded within 6 months of the lodging of the application.2 In instances where the Asylum Service is not able to issue a decision within 6 months, it is obliged to inform the applicant of the delay and, upon request, of the applicant, provide information on the reasons for the delay and on the time-frame in which a decision on the application is expected.3

The 6 month time-frame can be extended for a period not exceeding a further 9 months, where: (a) complex issues of fact and/or law are involved; (b) a large number of third-country nationals or stateless persons simultaneously apply for international protection, making it very difficult in practice to conclude the procedure within the 6-month time limit; (c) where the delay can clearly be attributed to the failure of the applicant to comply with his or her obligations as provided for under the law.4 By way of exception, the Asylum Service may, in duly justified circumstances, exceed the time limits laid down by a maximum of 3 months where necessary in order to ensure an adequate and complete examination of the application.5

The Head of the Asylum Service may postpone concluding the examination procedure where the Asylum Service cannot reasonably be expected to decide within the time limits laid down, due to an uncertain situation in the country of origin which is expected to be temporary. In such a case, the Asylum Service shall conduct reviews of the situation in that country of origin at least every 6 months; inform the applicants concerned within a reasonable time of the reasons for the postponement; inform the European Commission within a reasonable time of the postponement of procedures for that country of origin.6

Finally, the law states that in any event, the Asylum Service shall conclude the examination procedure within a maximum time limit of 21 months from the lodging of the application.7

In practice, the time required for the majority of decisions on asylum applications exceeds the 6 month period, and in cases of well-founded applications, the average time taken for the issuance of a decision takes approximately 2-3 years. It is not uncommon for well-founded cases to take up to 3-4 years of waiting time before asylum seekers receive an answer.8 While there has been a substantial improvement in processing times for fast-tracked nationalities (see section on Regular Procedure: Fast-Track Processing), for other nationalities there are still long delays. There are no consequences from the delays mentioned above and the Asylum Service does not inform the asylum seeker of the delay as provided for in the law, unless the applicant requests information on the delay. Even when such a request is submitted to the Asylum Service, the written response mentions briefly that the decision will be issued within reasonable time, yet no specific time frame or reasons for the delay are provided to the applicant.

 

Prioritised examination and fast-track processing

The amended Refugee Law now includes a specific provision for the prioritised examination of applications, within the regular procedure, applicable where:9

(a)   the application is likely to be well-founded;

(b)   the applicant is vulnerable,10 or is in need of special procedural guarantees, in particular unaccompanied minors.

Although efforts are made to ensure such prioritisation is given especially to vulnerable cases such as to victims of torture, violence or trafficking, it does not necessarily imply that other important safeguards are followed, such as the evaluation of their vulnerability and psychological condition and how this may affect their capability to respond to the questions of the interview. Overall, prioritisation of a vulnerable individual’s case does not necessarily ensure that the interview is carried out under the appropriate procedures specified in accordance to vulnerability. In addition these cases may start out prioritised but  there are often delays due to lack of interpreters or requirements for other  examinations to be concluded before a decision can be made such as examination of victims of torture by the Medical Board or victims of trafficking by the Anti Trafficking Department of the Police and there is not always. 

Further to the instances of prioritisation mentioned in the Refugee Law, the Asylum Service continues to prioritise certain caseloads and examines them within the regular procedure and not the accelerated procedure, under three circumstances:

(1)   When the country of origin is deemed generally safe;11

(2)   If a conflict is taking place in the country of origin, such as Iraqi cases in the past and Syrian cases currently; or

(3)   When the asylum seeker is in detention (see section on Detention: Duration of Detention).

In 2016, the time required for the examination of cases of Syrians and Palestinians ex Syria increased in comparison to the previous year, with the average time going from 6-12 months to 12-18 months. Even cases of refugees relocated to Cyprus were passing the 6-month mark, even though the refugees had received assurances that their cases would be prioritised.

 

According to the law, all applicants including each dependent adult are given the opportunity of a personal interview.12 The Refugee Law now also permits,13 where simultaneous applications by a large number of third-country nationals or stateless persons make it impossible in practice for the determining authority to conduct timely interviews on the substance of each application by the Asylum Service, the Ministerial Council to issue an order, published in the Gazette, providing that experts of another Member States, who have been appointed by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) or other related organisation, be temporarily involved in conducting such interviews. In such cases, the personnel other than the Asylum Service, shall receive in advance the relevant training and shall also have acquired general knowledge of problems which could adversely affect an applicant’s ability to be interviewed, such as indications that the applicant may have been tortured in the past.

The personal interview on the substance of the application may be omitted where:14

(a)   The Head of the Asylum Service is able to take a positive decision with regard to refugee status on the basis of available evidence; or

(b)   the Asylum Service is of the opinion that the applicant is unfit or unable to be interviewed owing to enduring circumstances beyond his or her control. When in doubt, the Asylum Service shall consult a medical professional to establish whether the condition that makes the applicant unfit or unable to be interviewed is of a temporary or enduring nature.

According to the law,15 the Asylum Service shall take appropriate measures to ensure that personal interviews are conducted under conditions that allow the applicant to explain in detail the reasons for submitting the application for asylum, and in order to do so the Asylum Service shall:

  1. Ensure the competent officer who conducts the interview is sufficiently competent to take account of the personal or general circumstances surrounding the application, including the applicant's cultural origin, cultural origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or vulnerability;


  2. Wherever possible, provide for the interview with the applicant to be conducted by a person of the same sex if the applicant so requests, unless the Asylum Service has reason to believe that such a request is based on grounds which are not related to difficulties on the part of the applicant to present the grounds of his or her application in a comprehensive manner;


  3. Select an interpreter who is able to ensure appropriate communication between the applicant and the competent officer who conducts the interview. The communication shall take place in the language preferred by the applicant unless there is another language which he or she understands and in which he or she is able to communicate clearly. Wherever possible, an interpreter of the same sex is provided if the applicant so requests, unless the Asylum Service has reasons to believe that such a request is based on grounds which are not related to difficulties on the part of the applicant to present the grounds of his or her application in a comprehensive manner


  4. Ensure that the person who conducts the interview on the substance of an application for international protection does not wear a military or law enforcement uniform;


  5. Ensure that interviews with minors are conducted in a child-appropriate manner.

Furthermore when conducting a personal interview, the Asylum Service shall ensure that the applicant is given an adequate opportunity to present elements needed to substantiate the application in accordance with the law16 as completely as possible. This shall include the opportunity to give an explanation regarding elements which may be missing and/or any inconsistencies or contradictions in the applicant’s statements.17

In practice, all asylum seekers are interviewed , and in the majority of cases the interview takes place 1-2 years after the application has been submitted, with the exception of cases that are being prioritised under fast-track processing (see section on Regular Procedure: Fast-Track Processing). In addition, there is no evidence of the Asylum Service omitting the interview in cases where the applicant may be unfit or unable to be interviewed owed to enduring circumstances beyond his or her control, even in highly vulnerable cases and even when such exemption has been requested.18 All interviews are carried out by the Asylum Service, which is the authority responsible for taking decisions on asylum applications, and an interpreter is always present as provided for in the law. Applicants can make a request regarding the gender of both the examiner as well as the interpreter and in practice if such a request is made then it is usually granted. However, an applicant often does not have knowledge of this right in order to make such a request.

Although an interpreter is always present at interviews, they are not professional interpreters nor adequately trained, and there is no code of conduct for interpreters.19 Asylum seekers often complain about the quality of the interpretation as well as the impartiality /attitude of the interpreter, yet such complaints are seldom addressed by the Asylum Service.20 During monitoring of interviews at the Asylum Service, it has been noted that although asylum seekers are asked by the interviewing officer whether they can understand the interpreter, most of the time they are reluctant to admit that there is an issue with understanding and prefer to proceed with the interview as they feel they have no other choice or are unwilling to wait for a longer period of time (sometimes months) for another interview to be scheduled.21 In addition, there have been cases where the applicant has complained about the interpreter regarding the quality of interpretation or attitude, and this has been perceived as lack of cooperation on behalf of the applicant.

The recently amended Refugee Law permits audio/video recordings.22 However, in practice only a verbatim transcript of the interview is drafted. The law also provides that the examiner must provide an opportunity to the applicant to make comments and/or provide clarifications orally and/or in writing with regard to any mistranslations or misconceptions appearing in the written report or in the text of the transcript at the end of the personal interview or within a specified time limit before take a decision on the Head of the request.23 Furthermore, the legal representative / lawyer can intervene once the interview is concluded,24 and this is the only stage at which corrections are permitted. However the practice remains the same and varies between the examining officers, as some officers will allow such corrections and will only take into consideration the corrected statement, whereas others will allow such corrections but then consider the initial statement and the corrected statement to be contradictory and have often used this as evidence of lack of credibility on behalf of the applicant. In some cases the officer has not accepted any corrections at all.

There are often complaints by asylum seekers that the transcript does not reflect their statements, which is attributed either to the problematic interpretation or to problems with the examining officer, such as not being appropriately trained especially for the examination of vulnerable persons or sensitive issues, not being impartial, having a problematic attitude and not allowing corrections or clarifications on the asylum seeker’s statements.

According to the amended Law before the decision is issued on the asylum application the applicant and/or the legal advisor / lawyer has access to the report of the personal interview or the text of the audio and/or visual recording of the personal interview.25 When an audio and/or visual recording of the personal interview is carried out, access is provided only if the applicant proceeds with a judicial review of the asylum application before the Administrative Court,26 with the exception of applications examined under the accelerated procedure.

As audio/video recording is not used in practice, access should be provided to the report of the personal interview, prior to the issuance of the decision. According to the Asylum Service such access is provided and applicants are informed of this right during the personal interview, however very few applicants seem to be aware of this right and there is no evidence of anyone accessing this right. Access entails reviewing the report which is in Greek or sometimes in English, without translation / interpretation and without having a right to receive a copy of it, which may also contribute to applicants not accessing this right.

In the case of the legal advisor / lawyer accessing it prior to the issuance of the decision, very few applicants have a legal advisor / lawyer at the first instance examination, and even if they do, not many lawyers are familiar with the asylum procedure.

Furthermore access to the file, including the report of the personal interview is not provided to the applicant after the decision has been issued but only to the legal advisor/lawyer again a copy is not provided but only the right to review the file and its contents.

Regarding asylum applications examined whilst in detention, the overall quality of the asylum examination is not particularly affected by the fact that the applicant is in detention, as the examination including the personal interview, is carried out by an officer / caseworker from the Asylum Service with the assistance of an interpreter. However, it is evident that the psychological state of individuals who are in detention is rarely taken into consideration during the interviewing process. The majority of interviews are carried out at the offices of the Asylum Service, as with all asylum seekers; even if carried out in the detention centre it will be in a private room by the caseworkers of the Asylum Service.

    

Appeal

In order to ensure that asylum seekers in Cyprus have a right to an effective remedy against a negative decision before a judicial body on both facts and law in accordance with Article 46 of the recast Asylum Procedures Directive, the relevant authorities have taken steps to modify the procedure as follows; abolish the Refugee Reviewing Authority (RRA), which is a second level first-instance decision-making authority that examines recourses (appeals) on both facts and law, but is not a judicial body, and instead provide judicial review on both facts and law before the recently established Administrative Court.

The Administrative Court was established in 2015,27 and started operating on 1 January 2016, taking over from the Supreme Court as the first-instance judicial review authority for asylum cases. However, the Administrative Court will only examine application made on 20 July 2015 onwards on both facts and law. For applications made prior to the given date, the Administrative Court will only examine on points of law, as did the Supreme Court. As a result, applicants who applied prior to 20 July 2015 will never have access to an effective remedy before a court or tribunal, as required by the recast Asylum Procedures Directive. In addition, the Administrative Court comprises of only five judges without any legal assistants who must determine any judicial review pertaining to an administrative decision, not just asylum decisions, which has raised concern on the capacity the Court has to deal with such a workload.

The intention has been to abolish the Refugee Reviewing Authority (RRA), which has been the second instance administrative authority, and in view of this the recent amendment to the Refugee Law has removed all articles that concern the operations of the RRA. However, the Refugee Law also states that the termination of operations of the RRA will enter into force on a date that is to be defined by the Council of Ministers and published in the Gazette, yet to date no such decision has been issued. Furthermore, in view of the intention to abolish the RRA in recent years, most officers of the RRA have been transferred to other authorities, leaving only five examining officers for a backlog of some 650 cases, many of which have been pending for several years.

In practice, following a negative decision on the asylum application by the Asylum Service, an asylum seeker has the following options:

  1. He or she may file an appeal at the RRA within 20 calendar days,28 and if rejected by the RRA, he or she has the right to submit a recourse29 before the Administrative Court within 75 calendar days. 


  2. The second option the applicant has is to bypass the RRA stage and submit a recourse directly before the Administrative Court within 75 calendar days. All decisions issued by the Administrative Court can be appealed before the Supreme Court within 42 days.

Asylum seekers are informed about their right to appeal either before the RRA or before the Administrative Court, and this is included in the first instance decision. The appeal before the RRA and the Administrative Court has suspensive effect,30 and both examine both facts and points of law. There is no specific time limit set for the issuance of a decision but rather the law provides that a decision must be issued as soon as possible.31 The onward appeal before the Supreme Court examines only points of law and does not have suspensive effect.

The recent amendments of October 2016 to the Refugee Law allow access, for the first time before a decision is issued on the asylum application, to the interview transcript, assessment / recommendation, supporting documents, medical reports, country of origin information that have been used in support of the decision.32 However, as it is a recent development is not clear yet whether and how applicants and legal representatives have knowledge of this right and if they exercise it. Legal representatives also have access to the content of the file when representing applicants.33 In practice the Asylum Service stipulates in the rejection letter provided to the applicant that such access can only be provided once, although the Refugee Law does not contain such a limitation. Furthermore, in practice access is always given to the interview transcript and assessment / recommendation but not consistently to other supporting documents, medical reports or country of origin information that have been used in support of the decision.

The procedure before the RRA is administrative, not judicial, and applicants have a right to submit an appeal without legal representation. However, if they do not have legal representation the chances of succeeding at the appeal stage are extremely limited. Due to the fact that legal aid is not provided by the state at this stage of the asylum procedure (see section on Regular Procedure: Legal Assistance), only a small number of applicants are represented and are able to submit well-argued appeals against the decision of the Asylum Service. Before the amendment to the Refugee Law,34 it was provided that it is up to the discretion of the RRA to provide for a hearing. In practice, a hearing is very rarely provided for. Such hearings are not carried out in public and the decisions are not published, however a detailed decision is sent to the applicant.

The RRA can grant refugee status or subsidiary protection to asylum seekers. The average time taken to issue a decision varies from 6 months to 3 years depending on the case. As in the first instance examination for well-founded cases, it is not unusual for the RRA to take 3 years or more to issue a decision.35 If rejected by the RRA, an asylum seeker has the right to submit a recourse before the Administrative Court within 75 calendar days.

The procedure before Administrative Court is judicial and applicants need a registered Lawyer to represent them before the Court, in view of the problematic access to legal aid (see Regular Procedure: Legal Assistance) it is questionable how many applicants will actually be able to access to this remedy. Furthermore, regarding the procedural rules followed by the Court, there are gaps concerning issues related to asylum claims such as the examination of expert witnesses.

 

Legal assistance

Asylum seekers have a right to legal assistance throughout the asylum procedure, if they can cover the cost, as free legal assistance is not easily available and pro bono work by lawyers is prohibited by the Advocates Law,36 and may lead to disciplinary measures against lawyers.

 

Legal information and assistance at first instance

For the first instance examination the recently amended Refugee Law introduces the obligation on the state to ensure, upon request, and in any form the state so decides, that applicants are provided with legal and procedural information free of charge, including at least information on the procedure in the light of the applicant’s particular circumstances and in case of a rejection of the asylum application information that explains the reasons for the decision and the possible remedies and deadlines.37

According to the law,38 such information can be provided by:

  1. Non-governmental organisations;


  2. Professional public authorities, provided that they secure the consent of the state authorities;


  3. Specialised government agencies, provided that they secure the consent of the specialised government agencies;


  4. Private lawyers or legal advisers;


  5. The Asylum Service officers who are not involved in processing applications.

Finally the Head of the Asylum Service has the right to reject a request for free legal and procedural information provided that it is demonstrated the applicant has sufficient resources. The Head may require for any costs granted to be reimbursed wholly or partially if and when the applicant’s financial situation has improved considerably or if the decision to grant such costs was taken on the basis of false information supplied by the applicant. If the applicant refuses or fails to satisfy this requirement, the Head may take legal action to recover the relevant amount due as a civil debt to the RoC.39

In practice the Asylum Service has decided to take up the responsibility to provide such information and has appointed an officer from the Asylum Service who does not examine asylum applications to do so. As this has yet to start operating, there is no information on how effective it is. Furthermore, for cases before the RRA, it is not clear if such information will be provided at this stage as well.

Free legal assistance continues to be provided at the administrative stages under funded projects such as those provided by UNHCR, and other smaller projects from time to time. Due to the lack of state-provided legal assistance, UNHCR has funded consistently the project “Strengthening Asylum for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Cyprus”, implemented by the NGO Future Worlds Center since 2006,40 which provides for 2-3 lawyers for all asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection. However, its capacity is insufficient for the numbers of asylum seekers and refugees in Cyprus and therefore concentrates on precedent-setting cases. A project funded under the European Refugee Fund (ERF) which provided free legal assistance specifically to asylum seekers was implemented once for the first 6 months of 2013, then for the first 6 months of 2014 and for another 6 months until June 2015 by the NGO Future Worlds Center.41 Legal assistance has not been included under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) at a national level.42 The lack of legal assistance provided by the state, the lack of funding for non-state actors to provide such assistance combined with the lack of any information provided currently by the state (see section on Information for Asylum Seekers and Access to NGOs and UNHCR) leads to a major gap in the information asylum seekers have on the asylum procedures in Cyprus.

Asylum seekers reach NGOs providing legal assistance primarily through word of mouth, especially since the information available to asylum seekers is often not available or outdated (see section on Information for Asylum Seekers and Access to NGOs and UNHCR) or via other NGOs that may not have legal assistance and may refer asylum seekers to NGOs that do. Individual officers working in various departments of the government that come in contact with asylum seekers may refer them to NGOs to receive legal assistance, whereas asylum seekers residing in the reception centre may be referred by the staff working there. In the case of asylum seekers in detention they come in contact with NGOs again through other detainees but also by the NGOs carrying out monitoring visits to the detention centre.43

 

Legal assistance on appeal

Legal aid is offered by the state only at the judicial examination of the asylum application before the Administrative Court, which has taken over the judicial review of asylum applications as of January 2016.44 The application for legal aid is subject to a “means and merits” test.45 According to this test, an asylum seeker applying for legal aid must show that he or she does not have the means to pay for the services of a lawyer. This claim will be examined by an officer of the Social Welfare Services who submits a report to the Administrative Court. In the majority of cases, asylum seekers are recognised not to have sufficient resources.

Regarding the “merits” part of the test, which is extremely difficult to satisfy, with the recent amendment to the Legal Aid Law the wording has been changed from “the appeal is likely to be successful” to “the appeal has a real chance of success”. Up until January 2016, legal aid applications were examined by the Supreme Court which only examines points of law. This meant asylum seekers had to raise legal / procedural points without the assistance of a lawyer and convince the Judge that there is a possibility the Court may rule in favour of the person if it later examines the asylum decision. Additionally in this process the state lawyer representing the Republic acts as opponent and always submits reasons why the appeal does not have a real chance of success and that Legal Aid should not be provided, which leads to an extremely unequal process. It is nearly impossible for a person with no legal background to satisfy this requirement and as a result, since the 2010 amendment of the law for Legal Aid which extended legal aid to the asylum procedure, only 5 applications for legal aid had been granted.46 The applications that were successful were mostly prepared free of charge by lawyers working with NGOs.

Although the newly established Administrative Court examines both points of law and fact, the applicant still has to raise points to establish that there is a real chance of success again with the state lawyer arguing the opposite. As a result there has not been a substantial rise on the success rate of legal aid applications granted.47 It remains to be seen how the Court will interpret the new wording and if it will lead to a real and effective access to legal aid.

The UN Committee against Torture (UNCAT) has stated in its fourth report on Cyprus that it considers that the criteria are overly restrictive to legal aid of asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants and places them at risk of unwarranted refoulement and illegal detention,48 while the report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of Cyprus included a recommendation to ensure that asylum seekers have free legal aid throughout the asylum procedure.49 The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks,50 after a visit to Cyprus in December 2015 and in the subsequent report issued March 2016 also raised his concerns about the lack of legal aid for asylum seekers during the administrative stages of the asylum procedure, and the very limited access to legal aid during relevant judicial proceedings. In his report, he urged Cyprus to introduce in law and practice effective remedies concerning the detention of migrants, including asylum seekers, and their deportation.

 

  • 1. Article 13(5) Refugee Law.
  • 2. Article 13(6)(a) Refugee Law.
  • 3. Article 13(6)(b) Refugee Law.
  • 4. Article 13(7) and Article 16 Refugee Law.
  • 5. Article 13(8) Refugee Law, entering into force on 20 July 2018.
  • 6. Article 13(9) Refugee Law, entering into force on 20 July 2018.
  • 7. Article 13(10) Refugee Law, entering into force on 20 July 2018.
  • 8. Based on information provided by the FWC.
  • 9. Article 12E Refugee Law.
  • 10. Within the meaning of Article 9KΔ Refugee Law.
  • 11. Note that this is also a ground for using the accelerated procedure.
  • 12. Article 13A(1) Refugee Law.
  • 13. Article 13A(1A) Refugee Law.
  • 14. Article 13A(2) Refugee Law.
  • 15. Article 13A(9) Refugee Law.
  • 16. Article 16(2)(a) and Article 18(3)-(5) Refugee Law.
  • 17. Article 13A(10) Refugee Law.
  • 18. Based on information provided by the FWC.
  • 19. KISA, Comments and observations for the forthcoming 52nd session of the UN Committee against Torture, April 2014, available at: http://bit.ly/1I2c0K3, 39-40.
  • 20. Based on information provided by the FWC.
  • 21. Based on information from legal advisors of the FWC present at the interviews.
  • 22. Article 18(2A)(a)(i) Refugee Law.
  • 23. Article 18(2A)(a)(iii) Refugee Law.
  • 24. Article 18(1A) Refugee Law.
  • 25. Article 18(2B)(a) Refugee Law.
  • 26. Article 18(2B)(b) Refugee Law.
  • 27. Law N. 131(I)/2015 on the establishment and operation of the Administrative Courts, 21 July 2015.
  • 28. Article 28ΣΤ(2) Refugee Law (this has been deleted from the Law but still used in practice).
  • 29. Administrative recourse under Article 146(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. This provision provides as follows: “the Supreme Constitutional Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to rule on any appeal against a decision by the Administrative Court which has exclusive jurisdiction to decide at first instance on any action condition being a decision, measure or any organ failure, authority or person exercising any executive or of the administration of on-the because this is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution or of any law or is made in excess or in abuse of powers vested in such organ or authority or person.”
  • 30. Article 8 Refugee Law.
  • 31. Article 31Γ(5)Refugee Law.
  • 32. Article 18(2B) and (7A) Refugee Law.
  • 33. Article 18-bis Refugee Law.
  • 34. Article 28Z(4) Refugee Law, deleted from the Law.
  • 35. Based on information provided by the FWC.
  • 36. Article 17(9) Advocates Law.
  • 37. Article 18(7Γ)(a) Refugee Law.
  • 38. Article 18(7Γ)(c) Refugee Law.
  • 39. Article 18(7Γ)(d) and (e) Refugee Law.
  • 40. For an overview, see FWC, Strengthening Asylum, at: http://bit.ly/1L9ypGb.
  • 41. For an overview, see Future Worlds Center, Provision of Free Legal Advice to Asylum Seekers in Cyprus, available at: http://bit.ly/1Mahy6e.
  • 42. Ministry of Interior, European Funds, available at: http://bit.ly/2mcB4sq.
  • 43. Based on information provided by the NGO Future Worlds Center, which carries out weekly visits to the detention centre.
  • 44. Article 6B(2) Legal Aid Law.
  • 45. Article 6B(2)(b)(bb) Legal Aid Law.
  • 46. According to a search carried out on the Cylaw database, for 2010-2015, approximately 50 applications for legal aid submitted by asylum seekers were found, out of which 5 were granted.
  • 47. According to a search carried out on the Cylaw database, for 2016, 22 decisions were issued on legal aid applications to challenge the decision on the asylum application out of which 2 were granted.
  • 48. UNCAT, Concluding Observations on the Fourth Report of Cyprus, Committee against Torture, 21 May 2014.
  • 49. UN Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Cyprus, Twenty-sixth session, 4 April 2014.
  • 50. Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Report following the visit to Cyprus from 7 to 11 December 2015, CommDH(2016)16, 31 March 2016, available at: http://bit.ly/2mcxpec.

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti