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8 out of 10 Greeks believe the Justice system is “slow” and “politically controlled”

Eight out of ten citizens believe that the Greek justice system is “slow”, while 7 out of 10 characterize it as “legally a labyrinthine, politically controlled and insufficiently organized.”

Τhese findings are included in the conclusions of a Metron Analysis poll regarding the relationship between citizens and the justice system in Greece.

One in five Greek citizens has been in contact with the Greek Judiciary in the last ten years, according to the results of the research presented at the conference “Circle of Ideas and Justice” by the scientific manager of the company, Stratos Fanaras.

According to the same research, the higher educational and economic class has more contact with the Judiciary.

Men seem to have more frequent contact with Justice than women, as well as certain professional categories such as freelancers (31%), the unemployed (26%) and farmers (25%), while as towards subjective social inclusion the same is true for the small and medium class (25%) and even more so for the upper class (36%).

“The main parameter that differentiates them is the educational level and this is because those involved in the administration of justice are of a higher educational level,” said Fanaras.

In terms of status, 43% had contact as witnesses, plaintiffs and claimants are 35%, defendants and defendants 29% and a 4% lawyers.

Women report being a plaintiff-plaintiff to a higher degree than men (23% and 15% vs. 19% and 13% respectively).

On the question of how satisfied citizens are with the functioning of the Justice, four out of ten (42%) of those who had contact with the Greek Justice in the last decade report that justice was served and 30% that it was not.

55%, more than five in ten, found the process time-consuming, while 20% say it was completed within a reasonable amount of time. Men state that they are more satisfied with the time it takes to render justice, while women state that they are less satisfied.

Based on the level of education, those with higher or higher education tend to think more that justice was done (44% versus 38% of those with up to secondary education and conversely those with up to secondary education tend to think more that justice was not done (36% versus 27 % for those with higher or tertiary education).

The main characteristic attributed to the Greek justice delivery system by more than 8 out of 10 is that it is slow and 7 out of 10 characterize it as legally labyrinthine, politically controlled and insufficiently organized.

“The ‘politically controlled’, as well as other negative characteristics attributed to the Judiciary, are closely linked to political trust”, Fanaras emphasized and added: “Where we have low rates of political trust, we have very high rates of questioning the independence of the Judiciary and social justice. There is a general feeling that Justice in Greece is lenient. These percentages are also very high among those who give low percentages of political trust.”

“There is a danger brewing here in terms of the perceived relationship between the concept of law, its performance and various conspiracy theories and anti-systemic attitudes,” he said and emphasized:

Among those who say they trust the political system, “politically controlled” narrows to 49%, while among those who say they have low trust in the political system, it jumps to 82%.

The same is the case with the independence of the Judiciary: 59% of those who express confidence in the political system believe that the Judiciary is independent and only 16% of those who do not trust the political system believe that it is independent. Criticism of Justice is related to the political, social and democratic system.

The vast majority of respondents, three out of four, attribute the responsibility for the problems in the functioning of the Greek Justice to the political system.  76% consider the political system responsible, 40% the judiciary, 36% the media, 30% the lawyers and 20% the citizens who come to the courts.

Judging by party choice in the last election, voters of the governing party tend to view the Judiciary as more independent and less politically controlled than voters of the opposition parties.

Based on the political self-positioning, the further left of the Center one is, the more one tends to consider the judiciary to be politically controlled, socially unjust, less independent. Citizens to the right of the Center tend to think that the Justice is too lenient, while to the left of the Center that it is too strict, but without any particular ups and downs.

Regarding the generations, the negative evaluation of the role of the media stands out than the younger generation, the more negative evaluation of the political system by the working class and of judicial officials by the upper class, and in terms of employment status, freelancers tend to be more strict with judicial officials and the media but also with the political system, as well as the unemployed.

See also: Greece’s Justice keeps moving at snail’s pace; the slowest in EU

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  1. It is very slow! I filed for a divorce in summer 2015 and the courts went on strike for a whole year! They could not hear my case the earliest was spring of 2017 and there was no decision until 2019 due to appeals of my ex. What made it frustrating was I could not see my kids in the meantime. He had custody. I left from a violent episode.
    When I finally had my day in court I was at a disadvantage because you need character witnesses and I had none! Being an immigrant, all our friends were friends of the couple and they didn’t want to get involved. Some were threatened by my ex so they got scared and didn’t appear. It wasn’t justice. It was extremely slow and definitely my ex benefited extremely well.

  2. hah, it took almost as long for greek courts to merely _recognize_ a divorce that had already been finalized in courts in another european country! lawyers/courts on strike for the better part of a year, endless rescheduling of scheduled dates, etc.. and this was just the basically mechanical procedure of reading the translated from german-to-greek divorce ruling and recognizing it in greece as well!
    of course, the courts are both harsh and lenient at the same time. harsh on the everyday man on the street, with outrageous fines and zero flexibility for minor ‘infractions’ which were largely cooked up to generate revenue, but then lenient, when rapists and pederasts with political connections get set free, or when over and over again anyone in the political class does actually get convicted of anything, the result is inevitably a ‘suspended sentence’ with zero material consequences to the offender!