Supreme Court chief abandons age limit motion

Supreme Court chief abandons age limit motion

Supreme Court president Vassiliki Thanou on Wednesday decided to indefinitely postpone an administrative plenary session that had been scheduled Thursday to discuss her initiative to extend the age limit for judges beyond the current maximum of 67 years.

Thanou shelved the planned session after strong resistance from the main union representing Greek judges, the political opposition and Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis.

The minister stated outright Wednesday that Greece’s Constitution forbids changes to the retirement ages of top-ranking judges.

The official reason given for the suspension of the session was practical reasons – specifically, that a vice president of the court had not completed preparations – but analysts attributed the decision to the widespread opposition to her initiative.

In view of the negative climate that had formed, there was a strong possibility that the court would have deemed her motion as unconstitutional, a ruling that would have been a blow to her standing.

At 66, Thanou would be obliged to retire this year under the current provisions of the Constitution. Her motion had been widely condemned by top judges and lawyers as a selfish initiative to extend her own term which is set to expire in the summer.

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