National ordinary courts

Greece

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Greece

Civil courts

All private disputes are referred to civil courts, including non-contentious cases assigned to these courts by law.

The civil courts are:

  1. The Supreme Court (Ο Άρειος Πάγος)
  2. Courts of Appeal (Το Εφετείο)
  3. Courts of First Instance with several judges (Πολυμελές Πρωτοδικεία)
  4. One-Member Courts of First Instance (Μονομελές Πρωτοδικεία)
  5. District Civil Courts (Ειρηνοδικεία)

Criminal Courts (Ποινικά δικαστήρια)

Criminal Courts hear criminal cases.

The Criminal Courts are:

  1. The Supreme Court
  2. Five-member Courts of Appeal (Πενταμελή Εφετεία)
  3. Mixed jury Courts (μεικτά ορκωτά δικαστήρια)
  4. Mixed jury Courts of Appeal (μεικτά ορκωτά Εφετεία)
  5. Three-member Courts of Appeal (Τα Τριμελή Εφετεία)
  6. Three-member Magistrates’ Courts (Τα Τριμελή Πλημμελειοδικεία)
  7. One-member Magistrates’ Courts (Τα Μονομελή Πλημμελειοδικεία)
  8. District Criminal Courts (Τα Πταισματοδικεία)
  9. Juvenile Courts (Τα Δικαστήρια Ανηλίκων)

By virtue of special laws, criminal jurisdiction is also exercised by:

  • Courts Martial (Στρατοδικεία)
  • Naval Courts (Ναυτοδικεία)
  • Air Force Courts (Αεροδικεία)

These courts try cases as special criminal courts.

These courts try cases involving offences by military personnel serving in the army, navy or air force.

Administrative Courts (Διοικητικά δικαστήρια)

  • The Council of State is one of the three highest courts in Greece (together with the Supreme Court and the Hellenic Court of Auditors).
  • In brief, the Council of State hears cases including:

    petitions for the annulment of administrative acts for breach of law, abuse of power, lack of competence or formal omission;

    appeals by civilian, military, government and other personnel against rulings by staff councils (υπηρεσιακά συμβούλια) on promotion, dismissal, demotion, etc.;

    petitions for review of rulings by Administrative Courts. Αdministrative courts are responsible for resolving administrative disputes between government administration and citizens.

  • The Court of Auditors has both judicial and administrative powers, which makes it a dual-function body. Its remit is to control State expenditure, both by the public sector and by the local authorities. It is also responsible for overseeing and appointing tasks to public administrators, and has judicial powers to rule upon certain civil servants’ salary cases.
  • The Ordinary Administrative Courts are the Administrative Courts of First Instance and the Administrative Courts of Appeal.

  • The Administrative Courts of First Instance sit as a one or three-member bench, depending on the monetary value of the dispute. They hear taxation cases, disputes between individuals and social security or social policy organisations and administrative disputes between citizens and national or local government.
  • Three-member administrative courts of first instance also hear appeals against rulings by one-member administrative courts of first instance.

  • Administrative courts of appeal hear appeals against rulings by three-member administrative courts of first instance. They also rule in the first instance on petitions for annulment of administrative acts relating to the employment of civil servants (dismissals, failure to appoint or promote, etc.).
  • Legal databases

    1. Website of the Council of State. Access to the database is free of charge.
    2. Website of the Supreme Court. Access to the database is free of charge.

    Related links

    Supreme Court

    Athens Court of First Instance

    Thessaloniki Court of First Instance

    Piraeus Court of First Instance

    Council of State and Administrative Justice

    Hellenic Court of Auditors

    Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Athens Court of First Instance

    Last update: 30/12/2020

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