Wednesday November 26, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
12o C
9o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Civil procedure reform in Greece

By Nicolas Kanellopoulos*

Civil justice and enforcement procedures are among the most important aspects of a judicial reform with regard to economic security, contractual trust and good faith in any market.

Come the end of spring, the long-awaited and much-acclaimed bold reform of Greece’s weary civil justice system will at long last be realized and will radically amend the ways that our civil courts operate and their rulings are issued and executed.

The excessive delays of Greek justice, along with a sterile bureaucracy, hinder the Greek civil courts’ efficiency despite the high standards of decision making they adhere to.

The ongoing court deadlock stems primarily from the outdated procedure routines, the constantly delayed mandatory modernization of the judicial mechanism and the complete absence of out-of-court settlements.

The hearing dates fall short of everyone’s expectations. Civil and commercial disputes are heard up to two or three years after the suit has been filed and, in many cases, the right to temporary judicial protection is undermined.

Reform in progress

Fully aware of its historic responsibility, the Greek Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights has embarked on a continuous and coordinated attempt to modernize the country’s judicial system.

The effort has three basic axes:

* Review of the basic legal framework (basic codes).

* Promotion of alternative dispute resolution methods (mediation & pretrial conciliation).

* Implementation of a modern e-justice action plan.

The idea is to address with a more methodical approach and solve all the problems surrounding the legal proceedings in Greece as well as to boost positive opinion among individuals and businesses about Greek justice.

Crowned “the ultimate test pilot,” Law 4055/2012 “on fair trials and their reasonable duration” attempted to drive straight home a lengthy series of significant changes and, despite the initial adverse “prophecies” to the contrary, the implementation results so far have been encouraging.

Law 4055/2012 was just the inauguration of a larger-scale strategic action plan for the reform and reshaping of the Greek courts with an extensive remapping of the Greek court network. The first phase concluded in 2012 reduced the number of regional magistrates’ courts to half.

Furthermore, the ministry is also promoting the introduction of the Greek justice system into the new digital era through the implementation of its comprehensive e-justice action plan.

Another major pillar of the reform is the revolutionary policy manifest in the alternative approach to dispute resolution.

Mediation, together with the newly introduced pretrial conciliation process, could gradually create a brand-new mentality inclined toward resolving private disputes outside courtrooms, without resort to unnecessary litigation and unfounded appeals.

New code of civil procedure

Despite multiple amendments since its adoption in 1967, the code of civil procedure no longer meets the current needs of both society and the economy; a new, modern and efficient system is required. The new code, expected to be tabled by the end of April 2014, addresses a wide range of issues:

* The procedure before the courts of first instance is radically changed. Written procedure becomes the rule.

* There is a significant reduction in the unjustified number of special procedures (i.e. credit titles, car accidents) by the integration of procedures and deadlines. The new family court can include specialized judges and may involve compulsory family mediation.

* The provisions on payment orders and interim measures are improved.

* The enforcement framework is being rationalized and simplified.

* The code includes many e-justice friendly provisions.

While the adoption of the new code will definitely be a huge step forward, the reform still has a long way to go. Other necessary interventions may include mainly the further promotion and expansion of alternative dispute resolution methods in a wide variety of cases, such as family matters, insolvency issues etc. Furthermore, the ministry is actively involved in the work of a special government council for private debt management, the mandate of which includes the amendment of insolvency procedural frameworks.

The reform of civil justice will benefit society and the economy by buttressing the sense of legal certainty, securing the enforcement of contracts and judicial decisions, encouraging investment and facilitating business activities. After all, an efficient and reliable judicial system has always been a sine qua non prerequisite for the stable, viable anthropocentric development of a society, has it not?

--------
* Nicolas Kanellopoulos is general secretary of the Greek Ministry of Justice, Transparency & Human Rights.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday March 16, 2014 (15:22)  
Beware of the fallen idols
The hard truth
Extremism from a bygone era
No call for more games
Hundreds of migrants on crippled ship off Crete
Ships from Greece rushed to help after a crippled freighter crammed with hundreds of migrants floundered for hours Tuesday in gale-force winds and high waves in the Mediterranean Sea, offici...
Policemen suspected of working at Piraeus bar where shooting took place
At least three serving policemen are thought to have been working at the bar in Mikrolimano, Piraeus, where a 31-year-old man opened fire with an AK-47 early on Saturday, resulting in 15 peo...
Inside News
Debtors snap up offer for easier settlements
The governments plan for the settlement debts to the state is paying off as Greeks are signing up in numbers for the more favorable payment scheme. In less than 24 hours since the opening o...
Belgium gas firm said to be eyeing DESFA
Belgian natural gas network operator Fluxys is said to be eyeing the Greek gas grid, after signing an agreement on Monday with its Greek counterpart (DESFA) for the drafting of a study on th...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Atletico eyes last 16 berth against Olympiakos
Greek champion Olympiakos faces a tough task if it is to prevent last season's beaten finalist Atletico Madrid sealing its passage into the last 16 of the Champions League at the Vicente Cal...
SOCCER
EPO ends soccer suspension, Super League resumes
Soccer action will resume this weekend after the Super League convened on Monday, elected a new president and alternate president and sent a letter to the soccer federation that assures it t...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Hundreds of migrants on crippled ship off Crete
2. Atletico eyes last 16 berth against Olympiakos
3. Debtors snap up offer for easier settlements
4. Belgium gas firm said to be eyeing DESFA
5. OLP approval paves way for investment in Piraeus
6. Airport tender exceeds expectations
more news
Today
This Week
1. Anastasiades to undergo heart surgery in the US on Dec 4
2. Cargo vessel carrying hundreds of migrants adrift southeast of Crete
3. Trade deficit widens by 8.7 percent during Jan-Sept period, says ELSTAT report
4. Two police officers among 9 arrested for drug trafficking
5. Fraport, Copelouzos offer highest bid for Greek regional airports
6. Stop Mediterranean becoming vast migrant cemetery, Pope tells Europe
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Give Greece a chance
4. Every age has its collaborators
5. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
6. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.