Greek Cypriot applications to IPC on the increase

The Immovable Property Commission (IPC) was set up in 2006 to provide a speedy and fair remedy to Greek Cypriot claims for land compensation. As of June 2013, it has awarded £122 million in compensation to Greek Cypriots for their land in the North.

There have been over 5000 applications to the IPC until now. 380 have been settled on an amicable agreement but 10 have gone to trial. Most agreements have been concluded with cash compensation being paid.

The IPC will be having a break at the end of June and will restart in September. It is anticipated that a large number of cases will be finalised by the end of this year.

Since the IPC was recognised as an effective local remedy by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) it began to be used by Greek Cypriots.

In 2006 there were 100 applications but in the following years these numbers decreased to 70 in 2009.

There was a major increase in applications in 2011 as the economic situation in the South deteriorated. Applications rose to 500 that year and then rose again to 1,600 in 2012.

This year the pace of applications continue with 677 applications to the IPC as of June.

The interim government of Prime Minister Sibel Siber has promised to reorganise the IPC to allow it to carry out its work more efficiently. This will need some legislative amendments and more investments.

The large number of applications by the Greek Cypriots has upset and frustrated successive South Cyprus governments. The current government has set up a cross party commission to see how they can prevent this. Ideas being proposed are to bring in legislation to suspend all such sales until there is a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus negotiations. Another idea is to outlaw all previous such transactions.

How either of these proposals would be implemented in practice or how they would stand up to challenges to the ECHR by Greek Cypriot citizens wishing to sell is unclear.






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