This project investigated the Greek judiciary as another problematic component of the EU rule-of-law machinery and critically addressed the efforts to reform it. The project combined two theoretical frames: it addressed the Greek judiciary from a rule-of-law perspective and a political economy perspective.
The first part offered an overview of the building blocks of the Greek judiciary with reference to comparative material. Fundamental organizational principles, such as the division of jurisdictions and the procedures for appointing judges, were presented here, noting the ways in which the Greek judiciary diverges from other European systems.
The second part used the concept of rule-of-law to address three basic themes: (1) the interference of the judiciary in politics (judicial activism), (2) the interference of politics in the judiciary (judicial (in)dependence), and (3) irrelevance of the judiciary (judicial ineffectiveness).
These themes were approached through the analytical concept of the rule-of-law. The first theme looked into situations where judges rule beyond the law. The second theme looked into the opposite situation, where politics rule instead of law. The third theme was about when law does not rule. This focused on the political economy of the Greek judiciary and the double challenge it faces after the crisis. On the one hand, Greece has a court-oriented culture of dispute resolution with low popularity of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) mechanisms. On the other hand, the Greek judicial system is one of the weakest parts of the Greek state.