The Assize Court has unlimited jurisdiction to hear and determine at first instance any criminal case. In practice only criminal cases where the sentence provided by law for the offence in question exceeds 5 years imprisonment are brought before the Assize Court. Offences punishable with up to 5 years imprisonment are tried by the District Courts.
Each Assize Court is composed of 3 judges (either a District Court President and two District Court Judges or a District Court President, a Senior District Judge and a District Judge or a District Court President and two Senior District Judges). All decisions are taken by majority. There is no jury.
District Court Judges are appointed by the Supreme Court to serve in the Assize Courts on rotation.
The accused or the prosecution may appeal to the Supreme Court against the conviction or aquittal or against the sentence imposed by the Assize Court.
At present there are 4 Assize Courts in session in the Republic, based at Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos.
Assize Court Judges