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Legal Aid & Submission of a Recourse Gudie for Asylum Seekers - Beneficiaries of International Protection

A. Legal Aid Information 

1.  The Cypriot Judicial Review System

After the Asylum Service, the Refugee Reviewing Authority, or any other Department of the Government, has issued a decision that an asylum seeker is not satisfied with, that decision can be reviewed by a Court. That is the Administrative Court.  The Administrative Court started operating in Cyprus on 2016 and    what is important is that now, the Administrative Court     among other things, can decide whether an asylum seeker should be recognized as a refugee or be granted subsidiary protection.   In other words, the Administrative Court can either partially or entirely confirm or cancel the contested decision issued by the above authorities and decide whether an Asylum Seeker should be recognized as a refugee or be granted subsidiary status.

It can also take into account relevant facts or evidence, which the Asylum Service or the Refugee Reviewing Authority had not taken into account when issuing the contested decision. Furthermore, the Court can examine the compliance of the Asylum Service/ Refugee Reviewing Authority with the procedure, as provided by the law.

Finally, the Administrative Court can order a Governmental Authority to reexamine their decision.

2.  Legal Aid

Legal aid is financial assistance given by the Court in order for a person to receive free legal advice, assistance or representation by a lawyer to those, who cannot afford to hire a lawyer, due to their financial condition. If you are an asylum seeker in detention and would like to apply for legal aid please read further below.

Important Notice:

The legal aid procedure is different from the procedure of challenging the result of your asylum application, detention decision, return decision, or detention decision. With the Legal Aid application, the Court will only decide, if you will receive funding (legal aid) to pay a lawyer, in order to file a case before the Administrative Court against the above decisions. Even if the application for legal aid is rejected, you still have the right to file the case you want, either by finding the money to hire a lawyer on your own or by representing yourself before the Court. Please read Part 2 to see how you can submit a recourse on your own.

The Law on Legal Aid of 2002 (165(I)/2002), covers asylum seekers, who wish to bring an action before the Administrative Court against:

  • a negative decision issued by the Asylum Service or the Refugee Reviewing Authority regarding the asylum application
  • a decision by which it is decided that there are circumstances in your country of origin that no longer justify your status as a refugee or subsidiary protection, or for any other reason stated in the decision, and which the Government decides to withdraw your status.
  • a decision issued by the Asylum Service or the Refugee Reviewing Authority, with which the subsidiary status is granted instead of the refugee status
  • a decision issued by the Asylum Service or the Refugee Reviewing Authority, with which the subsidiary status is ceased or withdrawn

Important Notice:

The Legal Aid Law does not provide legal aid for the purpose of challenging a detention order. That does not mean that you don’t have the right to challenge a detention order before the Administrative Court; you can challenge it, either by finding the money to hire a lawyer on your own or by representing yourself before the Court. If you are in detention see also the Guide for Habeas Corpus, or read Part 2 of this Guide.

You are advised to make a decision as to whether you want to apply for legal aid as soon as you receive the decision that you wish to challenge. This is because you only have 75 days to challenge such a decision. Therefore, if you submit the application early enough, this will give you time to consider your options if your case is rejected, but will also provide enough time for the lawyer that will represent you to prepare your case in the best possible way, in case your application is accepted.

For this purpose, if there is going to be a postponement of your case to the Court, you may ask the Judge to set the postponement (see Section 4) as early as possible, in order to submit the recourse within the 75 days.

If for any reason, you have not submitted a legal aid application or you see that the result of the legal aid is delaying, and you wish to bring your case to the Court you may submit a recourse to the Court on your own. Submitting a recourse on your own does not stop the examination of your legal aid application.

3.  Requirements:

In order for legal aid to be granted, the following two requirements must be fulfilled:

  • legal aid concerns only the first – instance proceedings before the Administrative Court (this means that if a person applies for legal aid in relation to the proceedings of an appeal filed before the Supreme Court against a decision of the Administrative Court, which is delivered under that first – instance procedure, her/his application will be rejected);
  • the applicant must convince the Administrative Court that there is a chance to have a positive result at first instance proceedings (see above) in relation to the applicant’s case
    For example: if you apply for legal aid, in order to bring an action before the Administrative Court against  negative decision of the Asylum Service, you must convince the Court that you have a good chance because, for example, in its decision, the Asylum Service or the Reviewing Authority of Refugees has not taken into account important information, such as an arrest warrant issued by the country of origin for holding political opinions different from those of the Government in the country of origin.
  • the applicant has insufficient resources to pay for a lawyer (this further means that the applicant must not be able to afford to pay a lawyer on his/her own).

4.  Application Forms & Attached Documents:

Important Notice:The court with this application will simply decide, if the applicant will get funding (legal aid) to pay a lawyer, in order to file a case before the Administrative Court against the above decisions. Even if the application for legal aid is rejected, you still have the right to file the case you want, either by finding the money to hire a lawyer on your own or by representing yourself before the Court.

Also, even if your legal aid application is not granted because the Court did not find that there is a good chance for a positive result on your case, this will not determine the final result of your court case if you manage to submit your case with a lawyer in your own expenses, or completely on your own.

 

  • In order to apply for legal aid, you need to fill two applications: Form 1 and Form 2. Form 1 concerns the legal aid application itself; Form 2 is actually a written statement, with which you provide the court the necessary information regarding your financial situation. The original application forms can be obtained from the Registry of the Supreme Court in Greek.   They are also available for download in Greek and in English. Before filling in the forms, please check out the relevant Guide.

It is very important that in Form 2, section 16 – ‘Other Useful Information’, you explain your story clearly, with details that will show why the decision taken by the Asylum Service or the Reviewing Authority of Refugees was incorrect. In this way, the Court will have more details to consider when making a decision on your application.

In addition to this, you are advised to write your story and the reasons for which you believe the decision to be wrong, in a separate piece of paper with your own words. At the day of the hearing of the application in the Court, you can read this to the Judge and submit it to the Court.

Furthermore, if you have access to the Internet it is beneficial if you can find information about your country that will support your claim, which you can also submit to the Court on the day of the hearing.

Note:  In our website you will also find a dully – completed model for each Form, that will assist you in filling your own applications

  • Your applications for legal aid (Form 1 and Form 2) must be accompanied by a copy of the decision of the Asylum Service or of the Refugee Reviewing Authority or of other administrative authorities, against which you wish to bring an action before the Administrative Court.

Important Notice:

The court with this application will simply decide, if the applicant will get funding (legal aid) to pay a lawyer, in order to file a case before the Administrative Court against the above decisions. Even if the application for legal aid is rejected, you still have the right to file the case you want, either by finding the money to hire a lawyer on your own or by representing yourself before the Court.

Also, even if your legal aid application is not granted because the Court did not find that there is a good chance for a positive result on your case, this will not determine the final result of your court case if you manage to submit your case with a lawyer in your own expenses, or completely on your own.

5.  Application Procedures

  • The applications for legal aid (Form 1 and Form 2), as well as the decision of the Asylum Service/Refugee Reviewing Authority/other administrative authorities must be submitted in Greek, as this is the only language, which the Court understands.

Thus, if you do not know Greek and you are in detention, you will inform the officer in charge of the detention centre that you wish to apply for legal aid and the need for an interpreter to be present in the Registry of the Administrative Court, for filling of your application, as you do not know Greek. In case you are refused, we strongly advise you to contact either KISA or the Asylum Service. If you do not know Greek and you are not in detention, then you will contact the Registrar of the Administrative Court expressing your wish to apply for legal aid and the need for an interpreter to be present, as you do not know Greek.

  • The Registrar will set a date, in which you must go to the Registry of the Administrative Court (it is located in the Supreme Court, in the basement, on your left hand side) with all the documents that you must submit to it; an interpreter should be there, as requested, to help you fill the necessary Forms by translating the Forms that you filled in your mother tongue into Greek.
  • After submitting your application in the Registry of the Administrative Court, the Registrar will give you a number for your case and the date and time for the first hearing. At this point, you must also indicate (to the Registrar) the need for interpreter to be present during the Court hearings. The Registrar will arrange interpretation in the language of your choice to facilitate the communication during the hearing.
  • The notice of your application shall be served to the Attorney – General of the Republic of Cyprus, as a representative of him will take part in the Court’s hearing.
  • At the Court’s hearings, you (the Applicant) must be present and deal personally with your case, with the help of the interpreter appointed by the Court, in order to prove that you have possibilities to win the case, for which you are requesting legal aid.

First hearing: the Judge will hear you and the representative of the Attorney – General of the Republic, in order to determine whether your legal aid application is covered by the law. However:

  • It is possible at this point that the lawyer representing the Attorney General’s Office will ask for further time to submit an objection . ‘Objection’ is a written statement with which the Attorney General’s Office explains why they disagree with the possibility of you receiving legal aid.
  • If this is the case, then the Court will give time for this and will set the hearing for another date. At this point you may ask the Court to set the hearing as early as possible, taking into consideration the fact that you only have 75 days to submit it a recourse.
  • Furthermore, you may ask for a written translation of the objection, so that you have time to study it before the next hearing. This is so that you have the opportunity to study the reasons of objection, and respond to them at the next hearing.

If your application is not covered by the Law, the Judge will dismiss the application. Please note that even if your legal aid application is dismissed, you still have the right to bring an action before the Administrative Court, either by finding the money to hire a lawyer on your own or by representing yourself before the Court.

If your application is covered by the Law, the Judge will order a socio-economic report to be drawn up by the Welfare Office which has to be deposited in the Registry, within a time limit and s/he will set a date and time for the examination of the application.

Second / Next hearing – Examination of the application: the Judge will hear you and the representative of the Attorney – General of the Republic, in order to determine whether your legal aid application will be approved or dismissed. It is important at this process, to say every information you believe will help prove the above mentioned points, and, if possible, contact an NGO as to how they can help you prepare for the hearing.

At this point, you have to persuade the Court that you have possibilities to win the case, for which you applied for legal aid, and give the Judge all the documents that support your claim (and which the Asylum Service/the Refugee Reviewing Authority has not probably taken into account – also section 4 of this Guide).

  • After the ruling of the Court, successful applicants will be given by the Registrar of the Administrative Court a letter stating that they are entitled for legal aid. At this point, the applicants must immediately find a lawyer, who will represent them, provided that the lawyer agrees to work with legal aid (see attached list of legal aid lawyers). A list of lawyers, who work with legal aid, is available at the Registry of the Court. In case you cannot find a lawyer to represent you, you may ask the Court to appoint one for you.
  • The lawyer will get paid by the Government and is not allowed to charge the applicant extra fees for the services provided for this proceedings (meaning the proceedings for which legal aid is granted).

Important Notice:

Since the Court with this application will only decide if the applicant will get legal aid, in order to bring an action before the Administrative Court against the decision of the Asylum Service/ Refugee Reviewing Authority/other administrative authorities, the Applicant must not go into details regarding the reasons s/he believes that this decision is not satisfactory. The Applicant at this stage must just persuade the Court that in case s/he is granted legal aid, s/he will have good chances to win the action that will bring before the Administrative Court. For this purpose, the Applicant may claim one or more of the following:

(i) the administration (the Asylum Service/ the Refugee Reviewing Authority) has not taken into account all the available data in deciding on her/his asylum application;

(ii) the administration (the Asylum Service/ the Refugee Reviewing Authority) has not properly assessed the available data in deciding on her/his asylum application;

(iii) the administration (the Asylum Service/ the Refugee Reviewing Authority) has not taken into account part of the available data in deciding on her/his asylum application;

(iv) the administration (the Asylum Service/ the Refugee Reviewing Authority) has not conducted adequate research, thus there are important data that have not been taken into account in deciding on her/his asylum application.

Important Notice:

  • After the approval of the legal aid application, you must find a lawyer to prepare and bring your action before the Administrative Court (file your recourse) against the decision of the Asylum Service/ Refugee Reviewing Authority/other administrative authorities. In case you or unable to find a lawyer,you may ask the Court to appoint one for you.

 

  • The asylum seeker has only 75 days from the date s/he received the decision of the Asylum Service/ Refugee Reviewing Authority/ other administrative authorities, in order to bring an action before the Administrative Court against it. From this point of view, it is of high importance to submit a legal aid application immediately after you receive the decision, so that you will have more time at your disposal to find a lawyer, who will prepare a good case before the Administrative Court.

B. Submitting a Recourse to the Administrative Court

General Information

The other available way to challenge any decision regarding an asylum application or a decision revoking or cancelling your international protection status is to submit your case (which means to challenge a decision to the Administrative Court, so that it will decide whether the decision taken by the relevant authority was correct)  to the Court personally, without a lawyer. You must submit your case, within 75 days from receiving the decision you wish to challenge.

However, submitting your case to the Court personally can be frustrating and difficult, particularly if you do not have any legal knowledge. For this reason, you are advised to first apply for legal aid (as described in Part 1), before trying to submit your case to the Court on your own, so that a lawyer will be able to handle your case. Nonetheless, if:

  1. You have applied for legal aid, but still do not have a result on your application, and the 75 day deadline is near, or
  2. you have not applied for legal aid, but you still wish to challenge a decision that affects you,

you can submit your case to the Court. Please note that even after you have submitted your case to the Court, you can still apply for legal aid. The procedure for legal aid is different from the procedure for submitting a case to the Court against an asylum related decision.

Before explaining the procedure for submitting your case to the Court, please take into consideration the following points:

  • Submitting a recourse without a lawyer, will cost €50 for Court stamps and €10 for ‘Service’ (when the Office of the Attorney General is officially informed of the fact that you have submitted a recourse). You will additionally need 2 copies of the original application. Therefore, you will give the Court the original application with the €50 worth of the stamps, which you will find at the Court and a copy of the original. You can keep the other copy for yourself. The Court will make the procedure for the service.
  • After you submit your case, you will have to appear to the Court personally, on the dates that the Court gives you. The Police will take you to the Court on the specified dates. As you are an asylum seeker, there will be a translator available at the date which was set by the Court. (see more on this below).
  • You may still try to find a lawyer to represent you even after you have submitted your case. As there will be a point in the process where you are going to have to present your arguments before the Court you are advised to try to find a lawyer, and negotiate a payment scheme if you are having financial difficulties.
  • Even if you have not been able to find a lawyer, you still have a right to represent yourself and present your arguments before the Court and for this purpose it is advisable to contact an NGO to help you on this matter. The NGO will not represent you in Court, but will try to help you throughout the process.

Submitting a recourse:

  1. The Cypriot Judicial Review System

If you are challenging a decision relating to your asylum status we would like to remind you that the Administrative Court can, among other things, decide whether an asylum seeker should be recognized as a refugee or be granted subsidiary protection.   In other words, the Administrative Court can either partially or entirely confirm or cancel the challenged decision issued by the above authorities and decide whether an Asylum Seeker should be recognized as a refugee or be granted subsidiary status.

It can also take into account relevant facts or evidence, which the Asylum Service or the Refugee Reviewing Authority had not taken into account when issuing the challenged decision. Furthermore, the Court can examine the compliance of the Asylum Service / Refugee Reviewing Authority with the procedure, as provided by the law.

  1. If you decide that you want to personally challenge a decision that concerns you, then you should contact the Immigration Officer at the detention center, and inform him/her that you want to submit a case to the Court and that you wish to have a translator present. Normally, the Immigration Officer will give you a ‘request’ form to complete.

It is important to make clear to the Officer, and in the ‘request’ form, of the reason you wish to go to the Court, which can be one or more of the following:

  • legal aid to challenge a return or deportation decision,
  • legal aid for habeas corpus,
  • submitting your asylum case to the Admnistrative Court personally, or
  • submitting a case against a deportation, detention, or return decision personally, without a lawyer)
·        If the 75 day deadline is near we would advise you to submit a case to the Court, and at the same time apply for legal aid.  

·        Inform the Immigration Officer of the procedures for which you would like to go to the Court, and the fact that you wish to have a translator present at the Court with you.

  1. Below you can find attached the form which is used to submit your case to the Administrative Court. This form was translated by KISA from Greek to English, because the working language of the Court is Greek. There will be a translator available to the Court, that will translate the form for you. However, this only applies in the cases where you are challenging a decision relating to your asylum application or status.
Legal Aid & Submission of a Recourse Gudie for Undocumented (Irregular) Migrants

A. Legal Aid Information

1.  The Cypriot Judicial Review System

The Administrative Court started operating in the Republic of Cyprus on 01.01.2016. The Administrative Court can either partially or entirely uphold or cancel the contested decision, taking into account relevant facts or evidence, which the Civil Registration & Migration Department/Ministry of Interior or the Cabinet had not taken into account when issuing the contested decision.

2.  Legal Aid

Important Notice:

The court with this application will only decide, if the applicant will get funding (legal aid) to pay a lawyer, in order to file a case before the Administrative Court against the above decisions. Even if the application for legal aid is rejected, you still have the right to file the case you want, either by finding the money to hire a lawyer on your own or by representing yourself before the Court. Please note that there is a fee of €50 to be paid for stamps, when a person represents himself/herself before the Court, and a further fee of around  €10 for ‘notice of service’ : when the Attorney General’s Officie  is officially informed of the case you have submitted to the Court.

Legal aid is free legal advice, assistance or representation provided to those, who would otherwise not be able to hire a lawyer, due to their financial condition.

According to the Law on Legal Aid of 2002 (165(I)/2002), legal aid can be provided to  undocumented (irregular) migrants, who wish to challenge, before the Administrative Court (the Court),:

  • A return decision issued by the Civil Registration and Migration Department/ Ministry of Interior. That is an order, issued by the authorities, informing the applicant that he/she will have to leave Cyprus and return to his country
  • A removal decision issued by the Civil Registration and Migration Department/ Ministry of Interior. That is a deportation order.
  • a ban entry decision issued by the Cabinet. That is an order prohibiting the applicant from returning to Cyprus.
Important Notice:

The Legal Aid Law does not provide legal aid for the purpose of challenging a detention order; that does not mean that you don’t have the right to challenge a detention order before the Administrative Court; you can challenge it, either by finding the money to hire a lawyer on your own or by representing yourself before the Court.

 

You are advised to make a decision as to whether you want to apply for legal aid as soon as you receive the decision that you wish to challenge. This is because you only have 75 days to challenge such a decision. Therefore, if you submit the application early enough, this will give you time to consider your options if your case is rejected, but will also provide enough time for the lawyer that will represent you to prepare your case in the best possible way, in case your application is accepted.

For this purpose, if there is going to be a postponement of your case to the Court, you may ask the Judge to set the postponement (see Section 4) as early as possible, in order to submit the recourse within the span of 75 days.

If for any reason, you have not submitted a legal aid application or you see that the result of the legal aid is delaying, if you wish to bring your case to the Court you may submit a recourse to the Court on your own. Submitting a recourse on your own does not stop the examination of your legal aid application.

3.  Requirements:

In order for the legal aid to be granted, the three following requirements must be fulfilled:

  • legal aid concerns only the first – instance proceedings of the action brought before the Administrative Court; (this means that if a person applies for legal aid in relation to the proceedings of an appeal filed before the Supreme Court against a decision of the Administrative Court, which is delivered under that first – instance procedure, her/his application will be rejected);
  • the applicant must persuade the Administrative Court that there is chance to win the case, for which s/he applies for legal aid (for example: if you apply for legal aid, in order to bring an action before the Administrative Court against a return decision of the Civil Registration & Migration Department, you must persuade the Court that you have strong possibilities to win the case against the Civil Registration & Migration Department, because in its decision, the Civil Registration & Migration Department did not give you the possibility of voluntary return and did not follow all the steps of the prescribed procedure as provided by the Law);
  • the applicant has insufficient resources to pay for a lawyer (this further means that the applicant must not be able to afford to pay a lawyer on his/her own).
Important Notice:

The court with this application will simply decide, if the applicant will get funding (legal aid) to pay a lawyer, in order to file a case before the Administrative Court against the above decisions. Even if the application for legal aid is rejected, you still have the right to file the case you want, either by finding the money to hire a lawyer on your own or by representing yourself before the Court.

Also, even if your legal aid application is not granted because the Court did not find that there is a good chance for a positive result on your case, this will not determine the final result of your court case if you manage to submit your case with a lawyer in your own expenses, or completely on your own.

 

4.  Application Forms & Attached Documents:

  • In order to apply for legal aid, you need to fill two applications: Form 1 and Form 2. Form 1 concerns the legal aid application itself; Form 2 is actually a written statement, with which you provide the court the necessary information regarding your financial situation.

The original application forms (Form 1 and Form 2, see below) can be obtained from the Registry of the Administrative Court in Greek. They are also available for download in Greek and in English . Before filling in the forms, please check out the relevant Guide.

It is very important that in Form 2, section 16 – ‘Other Useful Information’, you explain your story clearly, with details that will show why the decision taken by the administration was incorrect. In this way, the Court will have more details to consider when making a decision on your application.

In addition to this, you are advised to write your story and the reasons for which you believe the decision to be wrong, in a separate piece of paper with your own words. At the day of the hearing of the application in the Court, you will can read this to the Judge and later submit it to the Court.

Note:  In our website you will also find a dully – completed model for each Form, that will assist you in filling your own applications

  • Your applications for legal aid (Form 1 and Form 2) must be accompanied by a copy of the decision of the Civil Registration & Migration Department/ Ministry of Interior or of the Cabinet, against which you wish to bring an action before the Administrative Court.

5.  Application Procedures

  • The applications for legal aid (Form 1 and Form 2), as well as the decision of the Civil Registration & Migration Department/ Ministry of Interior or of the Cabinet must be submitted in Greek, as this is the only language, which the Court understands.

Thus, if you do not know Greek and you are in detention, you will inform the officer in charge of the detention centre that you wish to apply for legal aid and the need for an interpreter to be present in the Registry of the Administrative Court, in purpose of filling your application, as you do not know Greek. In case you are refused, we strongly advise you to contact either KISA or the Civil Registration & Migration Department. If you do not know Greek and you are not in detention, then you will contact the Registrar of the Administrative Court expressing your will to apply for legal aid and the need for an interpreter to be present, as you do not know Greek.

  • The Registrar will set a date, in which you must go to the Registry of the Administrative Court (it is located in the Supreme Court, in the basement, on your right hand side) with all the documents that you must submit to it; an interpreter should be there, as requested, to help you fill the necessary Forms by translating the Forms that you filled in your mother tongue into Greek.
  • After submitting your application in the Registry of the Administrative Court, the Registrar will give you a number for your case and the date and time for the first hearing. At this point, you must also indicate (to the Registrar) the need for interpreter to be present during the Court hearings. The Registrar will arrange interpretation in the language of your choice to facilitate the communication during the hearing.
  • The notice of your legal aid application shall be served to the Attorney – General of the Republic of Cyprus, as a representative of him will take part in the Court’s hearing.
  • At the Court’s hearings, you (the Applicant) must be present and deal personally with your case, with the help of the interpreter appointed by the Court, in order to prove that you have possibilities to win the case, for which you are asking legal aid.

First hearing: the Judge will hear you and the representative of the Attorney – General of the Republic, in order to determine whether your legal aid application is covered by the law. However:

  • It is possible at this point that the lawyer representing the Attorney General’s Office will ask for further time to submit an objection . ‘Objection’ is a written statement with which the Attorney General’s Office explains why they disagree with the possibility of you receiving legal aid.
  • If this is the case, then the Court will give time for this and will set the hearing for another date. At this point you may ask the Court to set the hearing as early as possible, taking into consideration the fact that you only have 75 days to submit a recourse.
  • Furthermore, you may ask for a written translation of the objection, so that you have time to study it before the next hearing. This is so that you have the opportunity to study the reasons of objection, and respond to them at the next hearing.

If your application is not covered by the Law, the Judge will dismiss the application. Please note that even if your legal aid application is dismissed, you still have the right to bring an action before the Administrative Court, either by finding the money to hire a lawyer on your own or by representing yourself before the Court.

If your application is covered by the Law, the Judge will order a socio-economic report to be drawn up by the Welfare Office which has to be deposited in the Registry, within a time limit and s/he will set a date and time for the examination of the application.

 

Second / Next hearing – Examination of the application: the Judge will hear you and the representative of the Attorney – General of the Republic, in order to determine whether your legal aid application will be approved or dismissed. It is important at this process, to say every information you believe will help prove the above mentioned points, and, if possible, contact an NGO as to how they can help you prepare for the hearing. When the hearing is done, the judge, he will set a date and time to give her/his ruling in writing.
At this point, you have to persuade the Court that you have possibilities to win the case, for which you applied for legal aid, and give the Judge all the documents that support your claim (see also section 4 of this Guide)

Important Notice:

Since the Court with this application will only decide if the applicant will get legal aid, in order to bring an action before the Administrative Court against the decision of Civil Registration & Migration Department/ Ministry of Interior or of the Cabinet, the Applicant must not go into details regarding the reasons s/he believes that this decision is not satisfactory. The Applicant at this stage must just persuade the Court that in case s/he is granted legal aid, s/he will have good chances to win the case before the Administrative Court. For this purpose, the Applicant may claim one or more of the following:

1.      the administration (the Civil Registration & Migration Department/ Ministry of Interior or the Cabinet) has not given the possibility of voluntary return within the prescribed period, as provided by law;

2.      a procedure for the renewal of the residence permit or of other permit which provides the right of residence is still pending;

3.      a removal decision was issued, whilst the period for voluntary departure has not expired yet;

4.      the contested decision did not encompass any reasoning (in fact and in law) nor any information on the available legal remedies;

5.      the administration did not take into consideration important facts when issuing any of the above decisions, such as your long term residence in Cyprus, or your ties with the country 

 

  • After the ruling of the Court, successful applicants will be given by the Registrar of the Administrative Court a letter stating that they are entitled for legal aid. At this point, the applicants must immediately find a lawyer, who will represent them, provided that the lawyer agrees to work with legal aid (see attached list of legal aid lawyers). A list of lawyers, who work with legal aid, is available at the Registry of the Court.

The lawyer will get paid by the Government and is not allowed to charge the applicant extra fees for the services provided for this proceedings (meaning the proceedings for which legal aid is granted).

Important Notice:

·         After the approval of the legal aid application, you must find a lawyer to prepare and bring your action before the Administrative Court (file your recourse) against the decision of the Asylum Service/ Refugee Reviewing Authority/other administrative authorities

·         The asylum seeker has only 75 days from the date s/he received the decision of the Civil Registration & Migration Department/ Ministry of Interior or of the Cabinets, in order to bring an action before the Administrative Court against it. From this point of view, it is of high importance to submit a legal aid application immediately after you receive the decision, so that you will have more time at your disposal to find a lawyer, who will prepare a good case before the Administrative Court.

 

B. Submitting a Recourse

General Information

The other available way to challenge a return decision, detention decision, deportation order is to submit your case to the Court (which means to challenge a decision to the Administrative Court, so that it will decide whether the decision taken by the relevant authority was correct) personally, without a lawyer. You must submit your case, within 75 days from receiving the decision you wish to challenge.

However, submitting your case to the Court personally can be frustrating and difficult, particularly if you do not have any legal knowledge. For this reason, you are advised to first apply for legal aid (as described in Part 1), before trying to submit your case to the Court on your own, so that a lawyer will be able to handle your case. Nonetheless, if:

  1. You have applied for legal aid, but still do not have a result on your application, and the 75 day deadline is near, or
  2. you have not applied for legal aid, but you still wish to challenge a decision that affects you,

you can submit your case to the Court. Please note that even after you have submitted your case to the Court, you can still apply for legal aid. The procedure for legal aid is different from the procedure for submitting a case to the Court against the return / deportation / detention decisions.

Before explaining the procedure for submitting your case to the Court, please take into consideration the following points:

  • You will have to find a translator to come with you at the day when you’re going to submit your case.
  • Submitting a recourse without a lawyer, will cost €50 for Court stamps and €10 for ‘Service’ (when the Office of the Attorney General is officially informed of the fact that you have submitted a recourse). You will additionally need 2 copies of the original application. Therefore, you will give the Court the original application with the €50 worth of the stamps, which you will find at the Court and a copy of the original. The other copy you can keep it for yourself. The Court will make the procedure for the service.
  • After you submit your case, you will have to appear to the Court personally, on the dates that the Court gives you. The Police will take you to the Court on the specified dates.
  • You may still try to find a lawyer to represent you even after you have submitted your case. As there will be a point in the process where you are going to have to present your arguments before the Court you are advised to try to find a lawyer, and negotiate a payment scheme if you are having financial difficulties.
  • Even if you have not been able to find a lawyer,  you still have a right to represent yourself and present your arguments before the Court and for this purpose it is advisable to contact an NGO to help you on this matter. The NGO will not represent you in Court, but will try to help you throughout the process.

Submitting a recourse:

  1. The Cypriot Judicial Review System

When you are challenging a detention / deportation / return decision then the Administrative Court can order a Governmental Authority to reexamine their decision, if your case succeeds.  To see whether there is a possibility if any of the above orders is illegal, you can find more details here.

  1. If you decide that you want to personally challenge a decision that concerns you, then you should contact the Immigration Officer at the detention center, and inform him/her that you want to submit a case to the Court and that you wish to have a translator present. Normally, the Immigration Officer will give you a ‘request’ form to complete.

It is important to make clear to the Officer, and in the ‘request’ form, of the reason you wish to go to the Court, which can be one or more of the following:

  • legal aid to challenge a return or deportation decision,
  • legal aid for habeas corpus,
  • submitting your asylum case to the Admnistrative Court personally, or
  • submitting a case against a deportation, detention, or return decision personally, without a lawyer)
·        If the 75 day deadline is near we would advise you to submit a case to the Court, and at the same time apply for legal aid.  

·        Inform the Immigration Officer of the procedures for which you would like to go to the Court, and the fact that you wish to have a translator present at the Court with you.

  1. Below you can find attached the form which is used to submit your case to the Administrative Court. This form was translated by KISA from Greek to English, because the working language of the Court is Greek. There will be a translator available to the Court, that will translate the form for you. However, this only applies in the cases where you are challenging a decision relating to your asylum application or status.
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