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Beyond AusterityReforming the Greek Economy$
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Costas Meghir, Christopher A. Pissarides, Dimitri Vayanos, and Nikolaos Vettas

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035835

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035835.001.0001

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The Greek Justice System: Collapse and Reform1

The Greek Justice System: Collapse and Reform1

(p.519) 12 The Greek Justice System: Collapse and Reform1
Beyond Austerity

Elias Papaioannou

Stavroula Karatza

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the key structural deficiencies of the Greek justice system and proposes concrete policy reforms. The first part provides an account of the Greek legal system using cross-country indicators reflecting the formalism, quality, and speed of resolution mechanisms. The analysis shows that the Greek justice civil system has failed to perform its basic tasks. Trials in all types of courts take years to complete, in some instances seven or even ten years. At the same the quality of laws protecting investors, contracts and property, is low. Using comparative data from other EU jurisdictions, the chapter shows that the key reasons behind these failures are the absence of information technology, the lack of support staff, the absence of specialized courts and tribunals, and a hugely dysfunctional administration. At the same time there is minimal assessment of the judges' performance and limited possibilities for continuing professional development. The second part details a set of policy proposals. The proposals consist of immediate measures for clearing the large backlog and a set of ambitious medium-term reforms, many of which require a constitutional amendment. They aim to make the Greek justice system professionally administered, less formalistic, suitably flexible, and more accountable. Given the strong link between legal institutions and development, justice reform should be an absolute priority of the policy agenda, though sadly it is not.

Keywords:   law, economics, contractual institutions, investor protection, bankruptcy, Greek justice system, Greek legal system

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