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National ordinary courts

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Ordinary courts – introduction

Civil courts

All private disputes are referred to civil courts, including cases of voluntary jurisdiction assigned to these courts by law.

Civil courts include:

  1. the Supreme Court (Άρειος Πάγος);
  2. courts of appeal (εφετεία);
  3. courts of first instance with several judges (πολυμελή πρωτοδικεία);
  4. one-member courts of first instance (μονομελή πρωτοδικεία);
  5. district civil courts (ειρηνοδικεία).

Criminal courts

Criminal Courts try criminal cases.

Criminal courts include:

  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 (τριμελή εφετεία);
  6. three-member magistrates' courts (τριμελή πλημμελειοδικεία);
  7. one-member magistrates' courts (μονομελή πλημμελειοδικεία);
  8. district criminal courts (πταισματοδικεία);
  9. juvenile courts (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

Αdministrative courts are responsible for resolving administrative disputes between government administration and citizens.

Ordinary administrative courts include administrative courts of first instance (διοικητικά πρωτοδικεία) and administrative courts of appeal (διοικητικά εφετεία).

  • Administrative courts of first instance sit as a one or three-member panel, 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.).
  • The General Inspector of Public Administration is an institution forming part of the ordinary administrative courts. The Inspector is responsible for inspecting the administration of administrative courts and lodging appeals against their rulings.
  • The Council of State (Συμβούλιο της Επικρατείας) hears cases including:

petitions for 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.

Legal databases

  1. Website of the Greek Supreme Court. Access to the database is free of charge.
  2. Criminal Records database for Greeks with unknown or foreign place of birth and non-nationals.

Related links

Supreme Court

Athens Court of First Instance

Thessaloniki Court of First Instance

Piraeus Court of First Instance

Council of State

Court of Audit

Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges

Athens Administrative Court of First Instance

Last update: 19/07/2019

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