Court of Audit
The Court of Audit (Ελεγκτικό Συνέδριο), provided for in Article 98 of the Greek Constitution, is a high court of a dual nature, with judicial and administrative duties. It preserves its judicial character when exercising administrative powers. The composition of the Court of Audit is equivalent to that of the Council of State. The Court of Audit exercises its judicial powers in Plenary Session (Ολομέλεια), three Sections (τμήματα) and Units (κλιμάκια).
Its main powers are:
- auditing expenditure by State and local governments or other legal persons governed by public law;
- auditing contracts of major financial value to which the State or a person of equivalent status is a counterparty;
- auditing accounts of public accounting officers and local governments or other legal persons governed by public law;
- providing opinions on legislative proposals on pensions or recognition of service for pension entitlements;
- drafting and submitting a report to the Parliament on the government’s revenue and expenditure and balance sheet;
- hearing litigation on the awarding of pensions;
- hearing cases pertaining to the liability of civilian or military civil servants for any damage caused to the State, whether deliberately or by negligence.
The rulings of the Court of Audit are not subject to the judicial authority of the Council of State.
Other specialised courts
Courts martial (στρατοδικεία), naval courts (ναυτοδικεία) and air force courts (αεροδικεία)
These are special criminal courts. All offences committed by military personnel in the army, navy or air force (without exception) are subject to the jurisdiction of the above courts.
Supreme Special Court
The Supreme Special Court (Ανώτατο Ειδικό Δικαστήριο) is a specialised court, similar to a Constitutional Court in that most disputes within its jurisdiction are constitutional in nature. The Court is provided for in Article 100 of the Greek Constitution and is responsible for ruling on the validity of parliamentary elections, removing Members of Parliament from office or resolving conflicts between Greece’s three high courts. Judgments of the Supreme Special Court are final and are not subject to appeal.
The Court is composed of the President of the Council of State, the President of the Supreme Court (Άρειος Πάγος), the President of the Court of Audit, four Councillors of the Council of State and four Councillors of the Supreme Court (appointed by lot every other year).
The Court is presided over by the longest-serving President of the Council of State or of the Supreme Court. When hearing cases involving the resolution of conflicts and disputes on constitutionality or the interpretation of legal provisions, the Court includes two tenured professors of law schools of Greek universities.
Special Court for Mistrial Cases
The Special Court for Mistrial Cases (Ειδικό Δικαστήριο Αγωγών Κακοδικίας) is provided for in Article 99 of the Constitution and Law 693/1977 and hears mistrial cases against judicial officials. The Court is composed of the President of the Council of State, who acts as President, a Councillor of the Council of State, a Councillor of the Supreme Court, a Councillor of the Court of Audit, two tenured professors of law schools of Greek universities and two lawyers (members of the Supreme Disciplinary Board of lawyers, appointed by lot).
Special Court Judging the Liability of Ministers
The Special Court Judging the Liability of Ministers (Ειδικό Δικαστήριο Ευθύνης Υπουργών) is provided for in Article 86 of the Constitution.
It is set up for specific cases and is composed of six members of the Council of State and seven members of the Supreme Court, selected by lot by the Speaker of the Parliament after legal proceedings are launched. Hearings take the form of a public session of Parliament and are chaired by the members of the abovementioned two high courts. These members must have been appointed or promoted to their current rank before a proposal to initiate legal proceedings is submitted. The highest-ranking among the members of the Supreme Court selected by lot presides. If more than one member holds the same rank, the longest-serving among them presides. A member of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court or a deputy, both selected by lot, acts as Public Prosecutor.
This Special Court is responsible for trying criminal offences committed by government ministers and deputy ministers while they were in office, provided that the cases have been referred to the Court by the Parliament.
Special Court for Disputes on the Remuneration of Judicial Officials
The Special Court for Disputes on the Remuneration of Judicial Officials (Ειδικό Δικαστήριο Μισθολογικών Διαφορών Δικαστικών Λειτουργών) is provided for in Article 88 of the Constitution.
It is formed by the members of the Special Court provided for in Article 99 of the Constitution, with the participation of an additional tenured professor and one additional lawyer.
The Court is responsible for hearing disputes on (all types of) remuneration and pensions of judicial officials if settlement of the legal issues is likely to influence the salary, pension or tax status of a larger number of officials.
Legal databasesThe website of the Court of Audit contains the summary of an indicative number of judgments.
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