A superficial probe

Attempts to purge the judiciary of corruption, currently being carried out in the judicial sector due to the alleged machinations of a certain archimandrite, Yiossakis, have not so far given society what it wants; they have not managed to restore citizens’ trust in the decisions of the Greek judicial system. The fact that charges have been brought against a small number of judges alleged to have participated in trial-fixing rings is hardly an adequate antidote for the ailments crippling our justice system. Particular attention should be paid to a reference made by the president of the Athens Bar Association, Dimitris Paxinos, in Sunday’s Kathimerini, to a problem that concerns all citizens awaiting a judicial ruling: Namely, that there is a lack of any systematic monitoring of judges who issue rulings that later transpire to be erroneous and without any legal foundation. A good example of this problem – which is now subject to widespread debate in judicial circles – are the charges that were lodged against Kathimerini recently on implausible legal grounds, something that cannot be blamed exclusively on the incompetence of the judge in question. The Supreme Court set the record straight, but there were no repercussions on the appeals court judge who had issued the original ruling and the honest judge – who used his vote to try and block the unfair and legally unsound verdict of his colleague – was punished for his initiative. These forces form a part of the judicial circles that systematically block the opening of bank accounts in important corruption probes that the government is currently backing. If corruption has reached Third World levels in Greece, this is obviously due to the lack of curbs within the judicial sector. Unfortunately, there is still much that needs to be done by the politicians responsible for the judicial sector and by top-ranking judges if the prestige of the Greek justice system is to be restored. The purge currently being conducted has only scraped the surface.

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