Judiciary to have say on its leadership

Judiciary to have say on its leadership

The selection of presidents and vice presidents of the Supreme Court, the Council of State, the Court of Audit and the selection of the prosecutor of the Supreme Court will henceforth be done by the administrative plenary sessions of the courts which will meet in April each year and vote by secret ballot on the candidates, according to an amendment tabled in the Parliament by Justice Minister Giorgos Floridis.

The names of the candidates will be sent to the Parliament and also to the Ministry of Justice.

The new provision will cover the need for the participation of the judiciary itself in the selection of its leadership. 

Up until now the way in which the leadership of the judiciary in all the top courts was selected was chosen by the government. The issue had not only raised concern on the domestic political front, but also at the level of the European Commission, which had submitted relevant recommendations. The new provision will be effective from the new judicial year – i.e. from September 16. 

Thus, for this year’s elections of vice presidents of the Supreme Court (there are seven) and in the Council of State (there are two), but also in the Legal Council of the State (also seven vice president positions), the process will take place normally with a pre-selection by the Parliament and a final decision by the cabinet.

The subject of judicial leadership, which has been hotly debated for years at the political and legal levels, is expected to resurface in light of the upcoming constitutional revision, according to the government’s announcements. During the review process, proposals upon proposals are expected to be submitted on the subject, as many believe it is linked to the major issue of independence in the functioning of the judiciary, whereas others believe that the selection of the judiciary’s leadership by the respective government is the most institutionally correct way to ensure the service of the democratic polity and the popular mandate. 

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