Courts may get longer hours

The National Justice Council, which was formed last year, is to meet for the first time this month, Kathimerini learned yesterday, as the government looks again at ways of speeding up the judicial process and trimming the backlog of cases. The council, which will be chaired by Justice Minister Nikos Dendias, will be made up of the country’s top judges and prosecutors as well as representatives of judges’ unions, the heads of university legal departments and the president of the Athens Bar Association. Sources told Kathimerini that among the proposals to be discussed at the meeting will be the option of extending court hours so that they close at 4 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. and reducing the amount of vacation time awarded to judges. Another idea that will be discussed is the creation of a new court of first instance for Athens, possibly in the western suburb of Peristeri.