With the aim of improving Greece’s justice system, “radical decisions will be announced in the near future, without counting the political cost,” Minister of State Giorgos Gerapetritis has said.
These decisions will be included in a Justice Ministry bill that aspires to put an end to delays in the administration of justice, which, a recent report in 2021 by the European Commission showed, affects the economy and slows down investment. Tellingly, the report noted that a reduction in the length of court proceedings, even by 1%, can have a significant impact on economic development.
In Greece, the slow pace of procedures is among the most challenging problems of the judicial system as rulings are often issued with delays of up to four years, and in some cases even indefinitely.
The impetus for the adoption of the new package of measures is also related to factors attached to accessing funds, to the tune of 20 billion euros, from the EU Recovery Fund. These conditions include bold changes in the judicial system ensuring swift delivery of justice.
Apart from structural changes that have already been enacted, such as the recent law on the National School of Judges, the new bill – titled “Regulations on the function of courts and court officials” – will also introduce substantive evaluations for judiciary officials for the first time.
This will ensure more meritocracy and scrap practices that led to judges being promoted, regardless of their abilities, to the highest levels of the justice system, with all that implies.
The bill will, according to Justice Minister Minister Konstantinos Tsiaras, become state law immediately after Easter.