Judicial system ‘faces default’

Top-ranking sources in the judiciary have expressed concern about the possible «bankruptcy» of the Greek judicial system if serious changes are not pushed through so that a backlog of cases can be processed and the dispensation of justice can move faster.There have been around 50 attempts over the past 35 years by various governments to push through reforms increasing the efficiency of the judicial system but none have seen success, said Haralambos Athanassiou, president of the union representing the country’s judges. Crimes committed in the early 1990s are only now being tried in court. There are cases that have reached the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, but have been suspended 36 times. Things are no better in lower courts where tax offenses are kept pending for up to 13 years. According to Athanassiou, the only way to reduce the backlog is to oblige judges and court clerks to work in the afternoons and on national holidays.

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