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Greek Judiciary

Head of Section:

Michael Ioannidis

About the Project:

This project investigates the Greek judiciary as another problematic component of the EU rule of law machinery and critically addresses the efforts to reform it. The project combines two theoretical frames: it addresses the Greek judiciary from a rule-of-law perspective and a political economy perspective. The first part offers 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, will be presented here, noting the ways in which the Greek judiciary diverges from other European systems. The second part uses 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 will be approached through the analytical concept of rule-of-law. The first theme will look into situations where judges rule beyond the law. The second theme will look into the opposite situation, where politics rule instead of law. The third theme is about when law does not rule. This focuses 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 mechanisms. On the other hand, the Greek judicial system is one of the weakest parts of the Greek state.


  • Ioannidis, Michael: The Judiciary. In: The Oxford Handbook of Modern Greek Politics, Kevin Featherstone, Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos (eds.). Oxford University Press, Oxford 2020, 117-136. link to text