Sunday October 26, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
13o 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The ongoing court deadlock stems primarily from the outdated procedure routines, the constantly delayed mandatory modernization of the judicial mechanism and the complete absence of out-of-court settlements.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)  
End of reason, end of humanity
Banks need to step up
Tension for tensions sake?
Testing ground
Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
Authorities began on Saturday assessing the damage done by flash floods in various parts of Athens a day earlier, with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pledging that all those affected would b...
No court hearings for civil cases
Greek courts are to stop conducting hearings, which include witness questioning, for civil cases, according to plans drawn up by the Justice Ministry. Kathimerini understands that in a bid t...
Inside News
Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
Economic reforms in Cyprus are starting to yield results, the government said on Saturday after one credit-rating agency upgraded its rating and a second its outlook for the bailed-out count...
TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
Eurostat has frozen the securitization of properties that the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) had been planning. The project, drafted to bring some 400 million euros into t...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
A bad Olympiakos defeated a worse Laboral Kutxa 63-57 to make it two out of two in the Euroleague on Friday. In a game where the two teams had an overall field goal rate of about one in thre...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
2. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
3. No court hearings for civil cases
4. Greeces lenders seem adamant that govt must act on bailout commitments
5. Future of Attica trash set to become clearer
6. Policeman admits to murder of his cousin-in-law
more news
Today
This Week
1. End of reason, end of humanity
2. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
3. Banks need to step up
4. Greeces lenders seem adamant that govt must act on bailout commitments
5. No court hearings for civil cases
6. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greeces closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.