A lot of trials postponed; working hours don’t help

A lot of trials postponed; working hours don’t help

Few citizens who have had to go to court, either as witnesses or defendants, or even relatives of defendants, have failed to witness, and suffer, the phenomenon of trial postponements.

Sometimes trial postponements reach into double figures: a lawyer involved has to attend to another case; a witness, or a defendant, excuses themselves for health reasons. A simple affidavit by a private doctor is enough and is not usually contested by the trial case.

According to data from the Athens Court of First Instance, 45% of the cases before a single-judge misdemeanor court – the simplest ones – from 2018 to 2022 were postponed, along with 55% of cases in three-judge lower courts.

There is also the sacrosanct working hours, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a break in between. When the clock strikes 3, courts adjourn. And while many governments have declared wanting to extend courts’ working hours, none has dared.

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