This page provides you with information on the legal system in Greece.
Sources of law
- Customary law
- Generally accepted rules of international law
- European Union law
- International conventions
- Collective labour agreements
- Objective good faith (Αντικειμενική καλή πίστη)
- Good morals (Χρηστά ήθη)
- Custom and commercial usage (Συνήθειες και συναλλακτικά ήθη — general standards of behaviour)
Types of legal instrument - description
- The Constitution
- Statute (Τυπικός νόμος)
- Other acts with legislative content (Πράξεις νομοθετικού περιεχομένου)
- Presidential orders (Προεδρικό διάταγμα)
- Administrative measures (Διοικητικές πράξεις)
- Founding treaties of the EU
- EU regulations
- EU directives
- EU framework decisions
- International conventions
Hierarchy of norms
The Constitution prevails over all domestic legal instruments and is followed, in order of precedence, by statute law, presidential orders, and administrative measures. The founding treaties of the European Union are at the same formal level as the Constitution, while other international legal instruments prevail over all domestic legal instruments apart from the Constitution.
Institutions responsible for enacting legal rules
When it becomes necessary to amend or supplement existing legislation, or to lay down new rules of law, or to incorporate rules of international law into domestic legislation:
the responsible minister asks a special legislative committee to draft a bill.
The legislative process
The draft bill prepared by the special legislative committee is sent to the central legislative committee in the General Secretariat to the Government, which ensures that it is properly drafted, and may make other observations regarding such things as constitutionality and compliance with international law.
The bill is then laid before Parliament, with an explanatory memorandum setting out the reasoning and purpose of the provisions proposed. If the bill would involve spending from the State budget, a special report on expenditure and a comparative report on expenditure are drawn up by the State General Accounting Office (Γενικό Λογιστήριο του Κράτους). Bills must also be accompanied by a report evaluating any measures that may have to be taken in consequence, and a report on the public consultation that preceded the submission of the bill, save in exceptional cases.
The Chairman of Parliament refers the bill for consideration either by the whole house or by the standing committees or recess committees of Parliament. Orders making provision for the implementation of Acts of Parliament are made by the President of the Republic on a proposal from the responsible ministers. Specific statutory provisions empower the administrative authorities to take measures regulating specific matters or points of local interest or of a technical or minor character.
Under Article 28 of the Constitution, international conventions, once they are ratified by Act of Parliament, are an integral part of domestic Greek law, and prevail over any earlier provision to the contrary, with the exception of the provisions of the Constitution.
EU regulations have universal validity throughout the Union; they are binding and directly effective in each Member State.
EU directives are incorporated into domestic law by statute, by Presidential order or by ministerial decision.
Within one month of the passing of an Act by Parliament it is signed by the responsible ministers and then signed and promulgated by the President of the Republic.
The Act itself will specify when it is to take effect. Otherwise, in accordance with Article 103 of the Introductory Act to the Civil Code, it takes effect 10 days after it is published in the Government Gazette (Εφημερίδα της Κυβερνήσεως).
An Act ratifying a Convention enters into force, as a general rule, upon publication of the Act in the Government Gazette, and the Convention takes legal effect on the date specified in the Convention.
The website of the Greek Parliament shows all Acts passed from 22 October 1993 onward. Furthermore, on the website of the National Printing House (Εθνικό Τυπογραφείο), you can use the ‘Search’ section (‘Αναζητήσεις’) to find lists for each year since 1890 showing Acts passed and orders made, indicating their subject matter and the details of the Government Gazette in which they were published.
The initiative in any amendment of an Act of Parliament lies with the minister who is responsible for the subject‑matter.
An Act of Parliament remains in force until such time as it is repealed by a fresh Act..
- A complete legal database is owned and maintained by the National Printing House.
Access is free of charge (Article 7 of Act No 3861/2010, published in Government Gazette FEK A/112/13‑7‑10).
- A complete legal database is owned and maintained by Intracom and HOL.
Access is subject to a fee.
- Website of the State Legal Council
Access is free of charge.
The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.
Last update: 08/06/2016