Below-par judges costing the judiciary

Below-par judges costing the judiciary

When the current president of the Supreme Court, Maria Georgiou, assumed office in June 2021, she immediately ruled that judges who were not doing their jobs properly, to the detriment of citizens and the institution of the judiciary, should be removed.

Sure enough, after more than a year, 22 judges, including four prosecutors, were dismissed by the Supreme Court plenary on the grounds of incompetence. These judges were found to be absent from performing their duties and had not issued judgments for a long time, in some cases for years.

The number of judges who have been dismissed is unprecedented. It had been a long-standing, unofficial policy in the judiciary for years to allow even the inefficient to remain in their posts, in a reflection of the guild mentality pervading the body.

According to judicial sources, there are still dozens of judges who are not fulfilling their duties.

Indicative is the case of one judge who was transferred to Thrace from Crete, where his performance had been below par. His performance even in his new post remains so poor, meanwhile, that many of his colleagues refuse to be transferred to Thrace, fearing that they will eventually have to carry out the task of clearing up the backlog. 

For the record, the judge in question was referred to a disciplinary board and sent away with nothing more than a reprimand.

Although such judges are a minority, their incompetence has an adverse impact on the justice system.

In another example from a long list, a first instance judge was dismissed for not issuing a single decision in 10 years, since 2012; he was dismissed in 2022. He had five disciplinary convictions (on interim suspension) and was stripped of 400 cases he had not processed. Another had 86 cases that had been pending since 2018.

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