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JURIST's Greece Correspondent is John Kozyris, University of Thessaloniki Faculty of Law
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Introduction to the Greek Legal System
By Dimitrios Ph. Christodoulou

INTRODUCTION
SOURCES OF LAW

The Greek legal system is a member of the family of European laws and is especially influenced by German and French law. For the most part, Greek law is codified and, unlike Anglo-American common law, only enacted laws either in the form of codes or other statutes are the sources of law in addition to custom and international law (Civil Code, Art. 1). The importance of custom, however, is minimal and it is used only in accordance with enacted law intra or praetor legem and never contra legem. Pursuant to Art. 28(1) of the Greek Constitution, the generally accepted rules of international law as well as ratified international treaties become part of domestic law.

As a practical matter, legislation is the most important source of law. Although judicial decisions and the works of legal scholars are not considered sources of law, they can be very influential. The role of the courts is to interpret legislation. This is best seen in cases where general concepts or clauses in a statute are applied to a particular case. Greek courts do not possess a law-making capacity as such. Courts, therefore, are not formally bound by judicial precedent. Nevertheless, courts only seldom depart from prior established practice reflected by a series of decisions. Established practice in decisions of the higher courts and especially those of the 鄭reios Pagos (the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court) play an important role in the decision-making process of the lower courts. In a similar manner, the works of legal scholars have the potential of influencing both the legislators in enacting the law and the courts in interpreting it.

THE RULE OF LAW

The rule of law (kratos dikaiou) is at the very basis of the Greek legal system and the organization of the Greek state. The underlying principle is the recognition of the value of human dignity, personality and life. This principle defines the limits of state action and demarcates the scope of state intervention as well.

The importance of the rule of law in the organization of the state is generally evident. Articles 4 to 25 of the Greek Constitution provide for the protection of human rights including the free development of one痴 personality (Art. 5) and recognize the value of human dignity (Art. 2). Every act of the state must be in conformity with the law and it must also be provided for by a law. The Constitution divides state authority into the three functions of executive, legislative, and judicial (Art. 26). It grants the Judiciary independence from the other functions and the power to control and even annul acts of the public administration and to examine the constitutionality of acts of Parliament and refuse to apply statutes if they are found to be unconstitutional. The Constitution also grants to all citizens the right to seek judicial protection whenever their rights are infringed (Art. 20).

PUBLIC LAW

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LAW

The distinction between public and private law is a fundamental feature of the Greek legal system. Public and private law regulate relations of a different kind and govern the behavior of persons or entities of a dissimilar nature. This distinction also deals with the question of the competence or jurisdiction of the courts and is discussed in Chapter 2.1. Public law governs the structure and operation of both the central and local government and the operation of public administration. It also defines the relations between the state and its citizens and the limits of state power.

Private law (idiotikon dikaion) legislation has been codified or gathered in a systematic order of rules governing exhaustively and exclusively specific areas of law. Traditionally, private law is divided into two branches, civil and commercial law.

The civil law (astikon dikaion) is codified in the Civil Code which was enacted in 1940 and put in force after the end of the Second World War in 1946. The Greek Civil Code is a synthesis of Roman, Byzantine, and modern civil law and contains five books including the General Principles, the Law of Obligations, Property Law, Family Law and Inheritance Law.

Traditionally, commercial law (emporikon dikaion) has been divided into the general part, known as the law of merchants, industrial and intellectual property, business associations, commercial paper, bankruptcy and private maritime law. In drafting and enacting the different parts of the Code, Greek legislators have been inspired by the commercial legislation of more developed economies. Newer areas of law, such as antitrust and banking regulation, which are beyond the scope of the traditional codes are covered by specific statutes such as those pertaining to antitrust and banking regulation.

HUMAN RIGHTS

The Constitution provides extensive protection of human rights (anthropina dikaiomata) the fundamental individual, social and political rights and freedoms in Arts. 4 to 25. The Constitution has embodied the notion of the social function of human rights which translates to relative restraints. The theory is that society at large needs to benefit and advance. That does not mean, however, that the Constitution subordinates the individual to the state or the community. Article 25 (3) prohibits the abuse of a right. The balance is struck between the interests of the individual and the general interests of society without compromising the hard core of human rights. The restraints on human rights that are particularly noticeable are in areas concerning economic freedom and they are within the typical bounds of jurisdictions with market economies. The protection of human rights is complemented by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of November 4, 1950, which Greece has ratified.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Administrative law (dioikitiko dikaion) is the part of public law that governs the organization and function of public administration. Public administration is headed by the president of the republic and the government (the prime minister and the ministers). The basic characteristic of Greek administrative law is that it has developed recently and it is not codified. The Constitution sets the general guidelines regarding the organization of the central and local government and statutes provide for the specifics. The legal regime is one of special privileges and obligations under the guarantee of specific sanctions of administrative self-control besides judicial review of administrative acts.

PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW

The Constitution is very sensitive towards international law and Greece痴 obligations under public international law (dimosio diethnes dikaion). Pursuant to Art. 2, Greece adheres to the generally acknowledged rules of international law and pursues the strengthening of peace. Article 28(1) provides that treaties and the generally accepted rules of international law are an integral part of the domestic law of Greece and prevail over any contrary statutory provision. Treaties and generally accepted rules of international law are superseded only by the provisions of the Constitution itself.

EUROPEAN UNION LAW

Greece became the tenth member of the then European Economic Communities, now called the European Union or EU, on January 1, 1981. Article 28(2) and (3) of the Constitution allow the exercise of constitutional powers by international organizations and the restriction of national sovereignty under several conditions. Greek law has been greatly influenced by EU law (Europaikon dikaion). Both the rules provided for by the Treaty of Rome establishing the EU and the directives or regulations of the Council or the Commission play an important role in Greek law, either becoming an integral part of the Greek legal system or influencing it towards the goal of harmonization of the law of all member states.

CIVIL LAW

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

The First Book of the Civil Law is called the General Principles (genikes arches) and contains 11 chapters. It designates the sources of law and deals with the rules of private international law or conflicts of law. It provides the rules governing legal entities such as associations, foundations, and fund-raising committees. It also states the rules regulating the capacity of natural persons to enter into agreements and perform legal transactions and contains provisions as to the status of legal transactions as far as defects in intent, age or mental capacity and maturity of the parties are concerned. Rules about agency and statutes of limitations are also included.

In addition, the General Principles provide for 殿buse of rights (Art. 281). This article allows judges to decide cases even against the letter of the law if the exercise of a right transgresses the borders of good faith, good morals or social or economic purposes of that right. The function of this article is similar to estoppel in the common law.

LAW OF OBLIGATIONS

The Second Book of the Civil Code is called the Law of Obligations (enohikon dikaion). This book contains 40 chapters. Although it is not formally divided, the first 12 chapters deal with the general principles of the Law of Obligations applicable to all forms of obligations which are regulated more specifically elsewhere. They are called the General Law of Obligations (genikon enohicon dikaion). The balance of the 40 chapters, which are called the Special Law of Obligations (eidikon enohikon dikaion), cover specific contracts such as gifts, sales, leases, partnerships, production contracts, employment contracts, surety, loans, etc., and also negotium gestio, restitution and torts. There is no exhaustive list of all the possible types of agreements that can be made. The underlying principle in the Law of Obligations is the principle of freedom of contract and the parties are free to create all kinds of obligations to fit their needs.

Chapter 39 covers torts. The basic provision is Art. 914 which reads that whoever culpably and unlawfully injures another is liable for damages. Article 919 provides that whoever intentionally injures another in a manner against good morals is liable for damages. In addition to these two general provisions, there are a number of specific ones, such as Art. 932, which empowers the court to assess damages beyond mere material injury.

PROPERTY LAW

The Third Book of the Civil Code is called Property Law (empragmaton dikaion) and contains 11 chapters. The rights that the parties can acquire are enumerated in Art. 973. Unlike the Law of Obligations, the parties cannot create new or different rights in property law. The enumerated rights (numerus clausus) are ownership, personal and real servitudes, pledges and mortgages. The only case in which the parties have a saying in the formation of a property right is in personal servitudes (Art. 1188). There is no land register, as such, which a bona fide purchaser may consult. There are public records, however, where transfers of real property and mortgages are recorded.

FAMILY LAW

The Fourth Book is called Family Law (ikogeneiakon dikaion). It contains 18 chapters which deal with engagement, marriage and divorce, relations between parents and children, and the legal effects of parenthood, adoption, guardianship of minors and of imprisoned persons, the curatorship of absent persons, and judicial supervision. The particular flavor of this body of law results from Greek traditions including those of the Greek Orthodox Church. Recent developments and amendments reflect the equality of genders.

INHERITANCE LAW

The Fifth Book covers Inheritance Law (klironomikon dikaion). This book has 20 chapters dealing with intestate and testamentary succession. They designate methods by which successors other than heirs are established. These include legacy (klirodotima), fideicommissum (katapisteuma), modus (tropos), and donation in contemplation of death (dorea aitia thanatou). This book also contains provisions covering disinheritance and the relations of the heir with co-heirs and third parties.


COMMERCIAL LAW

LAW OF MERCHANTS

Commercial law starts with the law of merchants (dikaion tou emporou) which is strongly influenced by French law. In fact, the Commercial Code is a translation of the original French Code. The underlying framework is based on the role of merchants, i.e., persons engaged in commercial transactions and whose main occupation is commerce. The types and nature of commercial transactions are enumerated in Arts. 2 and 3 of the Decree 徹n the Jurisdiction of Commercial Courts of 1835.

INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY

Greece is a member of the Paris International Convention of 1883 On the Protection of Industrial Property. The Paris Treaty covers matters such as unfair competition, trademarks, patents and industrial designs (Law No. 213/1975). In addition, there is specific domestic legislation as to the various kinds of industrial property which have come to be known generally as intellectual property rights. Strictly speaking in Greece, intellectual property refers to copyright.

  • Unfair Competition

    Unfair Competition (athemitos antagonismos) is governed by Law No. 146/1914 which is modeled after the 1906 German statute. Article 1 contains the general prohibition that in commercial, industrial, and agricultural transactions any act opposed to morality is prohibited. Several types of specific prohibitions curtailing unfair competition are enumerated.

  • Trademarks

    Law No. 1998/1939 徹n Trademarks (simata) amended and supplemented by later statutes, notably Law No. 3205/1955, contains the governing provisions on trademarks. Presidential Decree No. 317/1992 amends and supplements this law to conform it with the First Directive of the EEC Council of December 21, 1988, on the harmonization of the legislation of the member states of the EEC.

  • Patents

    The key statute on patents (diplomata euresitehnias) is Law No. 1733/1987 which abolished Law No. 2527/1920. Patents are granted to new inventions that are susceptible to industrial utility. Law No. 2029/1992 ratified the Agreement on Community Patents signed in Luxembourg in 1989. Application for a patent must be made to the Agency of Industrial Property (Organismos Viomihanikis Idioktisias). A patent is granted only if the invention satisfies the requirements of novelty and industrial utility.

  • Copyright

    Article 60 of the Civil Code provides for an exclusive right on intellectual property, i.e., copyright. Creators of intellectual products have a dual right. Law No. 2121/1993 徹n Intellectual Property, Relative Rights and Cultural Matters. First, they have the exclusive right to exploit the creation and secondly the moral right of protection of the personal bond they have with the creation. This law also protects computer software. The protection of intellectual property has been extended by Legislative Decree No. 4254/1962 by which the 1952 Universal Copyright Convention was ratified and Law No. 100/1975 by which the Convention of Stockholm of July 14, 1967, and the Paris amendments of July 1971 of the Berne Convention of 1886 were ratified.


BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS
  • Civil Code Provisions and the Civil Partnership

    Business associations (etaireia or etaireies, in the plural) in Greece are governed by several statutes. The first are the provisions of the Second Book of the Civil Code, i.e., the Law of Obligations in Arts. 741-784 which apply to civil partnerships. The civil partnership is an agreement between the parties for the purpose of pursuing a common goal. In the event that the goal is economic, then the company becomes a legal entity provided that certain publicity requirements are fulfilled (Art. 784). The Civil Code provisions apply either directly or by analogy to all forms of business associations unless they are overridden by specific legislation. The First Book of the Civil Code (敵eneral Principles) also contains provisions in Arts. 61-77 about legal persons, in general, and particularly with respect to associations, foundations, and fund-raising committees. Other kinds of business associations are covered by the Commercial Code and related statutes.

  • Corporations

    Provisions regarding corporations (anonymos etaireia or anonymes etaireies, in the plural, i.e., soci騁駸 anonymes) can be found in Art. 29 ff. of the Commercial Code and in Law No. 2190/1920, as amended and codified in Royal Decree 174/1963 and Presidential Decree Nos. 409/1986 and 498/1987. The two Presidential Decrees harmonized Greek corporate law with EEC law and more specifically with the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh Directives of the EEC Council regarding corporations. There are also special kinds of corporations such as banking, insurance, maritime, and soccer corporations that are governed by separate statutes.

  • Limited Liability Company

    The limited liability company (etaireia periorismenis euthinis) is governed by Law No. 3190/1955. This law has been amended by Presidential Decree Nos. 419/1986 and 279/1993 in order to conform with the First, Fourth, and partially the Seventh and the Twelfth Directives of the EEC Council.

  • General Partnership

    The provisions governing general partnership (omorrythmos etaireia, i.e., soci騁 en nom collectif) can be found in the Commercial Code Art. 20 ff. in connection with Arts. 741-784 of the Civil Code and the general rules on legal entities of Art. 61 ff. of the Civil Code.

  • Limited Partnership

    This type of business association (eterorrythmos etaireia, i.e., soci騁 en commandite) is governed by Art. 23 ff. of the Commercial Code and Art. 38. Articles 741-784 of the Civil Code as well as Art. 61 ff. apply.

  • Silent Partnership

    Silent partnership (afanis etaireia, i.e., soci騁 en participation) is regulated by Arts. 47-50 of the Commercial Code. The provisions of Civil Code regarding Civil Code companies also apply.

COMMERCIAL PAPER

The kinds of commercial paper (axiografa) are enumerated in the Legislative Decree of July 17, 1923 徹n Special Provisions on Corporations. The first distinction is whether the commercial paper is issued to the order of a certain person or to the bearer. Under Art. 68, commercial papers issued to the bearer are shares and debentures of corporations with dividends or interest coupons. According to Art. 5 of Law No. 5960/1933, checks can be issued to the bearer. Article 76 of this Decree covers commercial paper that is issued to order. These are money orders drawn by a merchant to a merchant, 的OUs issued by a merchant for money, negotiable instruments and other fungible things, bills of exchange, promissory notes and checks, warehouse receipts, bills of lading, bottomry bonds, and insurance policies. The principal types of commercial papers are governed by the following provisions:

  • Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes

    In general, bills of exchange (synallagmatikes) are governed by Law No. 5325/1932 徹n Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes. This law ratified the Geneva Conventions of June 7, 1930. To the extent the nature of promissory notes (grammatio eis diatagi) differs, more specialized rules apply to this kind of commercial paper.

  • Checks

    Law No. 5960/1933 covers the regulation of checks (trapezikes epitages). This law reflects the Uniform Law on Checks of the Geneva Convention of 1931.

  • Commercial Money Orders

    Commercial money orders (emporikes entoles pliromis) are governed by the Legislative Decree of July 17, 1923, and by analogy by Arts. 876-887 of the Civil Code concerning the delegation of claims.

  • Warehouse Receipts

    Warehouse receipts are governed by Legislative Decree No. 3077/1954 徹n General Warehouses. Some provisions of the law on bills of exchange are also applicable to warehouse receipts through the implementation of Art. 80 of the Legislative Decree of July 17, 1923.

  • Bills of Lading

    Bills of lading (fortotiki or fortotikes, in the plural) are regulated by Law No. 3816/1958 徹n the Ratification of the Code of Private Maritime Law, Arts. 168-173 and by Law No. 2107/1992 which ratified the International Treaty of Brussels of 1924 and the two protocols of 1968 and 1979 which amended it (the Hague-Visby Rules).

BANKRUPTCY LAW

Bankruptcy law (ptoheutiko dikaion) is regulated by the Act of December 12, 1878 as amended by Law in 1910 and by Law No. 635/1937. Business reorganization is governed by Law No. 1386/1983 as amended and supplemented by Law Nos. 1892/1990 and 2302/1995.

PRIVATE MARITIME LAW

In 1958, Law No. 3816/1958 enacted the Code of Private Maritime Law (nautikon dikaion). Legislative Decree No. 3899/1958 followed regulating preferred mortgages on ships and Legislative Decree No. 187/1973 enacted the Code of Public Maritime Law. The Code of Private Maritime Law has 15 titles. Title One covers the concept of the vessel and vessel ownership. Titles Two through Five cover co-ownership and the related rights and obligations as well as the rules pertaining to the masters and crew and the liability of the ship owner.

Title Six covers affreightment in seven chapters. Chapter One is on the General Provisions. Chapter Two deals with the obligations of the owner, and Chapter Three covers the owner痴 liability. Chapter Four provides for the obligations of the charterer. Chapter Five deals with contract rescission and impossibility of performance. Chapter Six regulates bills of lading in conjunction with Law No. 2107/1992 which ratified the International Treaty of Brussels on Bills of Lading and the two protocols of 1968 and 1979 that amended it (the Hague-Visby Rules). Chapter Seven governs the carriage of passengers. The remaining titles deal with the fiduciary transfer of ownership as security, mortgages of vessels and maritime privileges or liens, general average and contribution, collision and maritime assistance and salvage.

Title Seven governs the fiduciary transfer of ownership of a ship as security. Most of Title Ten, providing for arrest and foreclosure, has been repealed by Art. 58 of the law introducing the Code of Civil Procedure. Foreclosure of vessels are now covered in Chapter Five of Book Eight in connection with enforcement proceedings.

Law No. 959/1979 徹n The Maritime Corporation provides for corporations whose purposes are the ownership of Greek ships and the exploitation of both Greek and foreign ships.

ANTITRUST

Law No. 703/1977 徹n Control of Monopolies and Oligopolies and Protection of Free Competition, as amended and supplemented by Law Nos. 1934/1991, 2000/1991, and 2296/1995, regulates competitive activities. This law follows Arts. 85 and 86 of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community and the related regulations such as Regulation No. 17/1962 of the EEC Council. Presidential Decree No. 236/1992, by which the Greek law conformed with Arts. 7 and 52 of the Treaty establishing the EEC and EEC Council Directive No. 89/552 of October 3, 1989, covers television.

BANKING LAW

Law No. 2076/1992 introduced into Greek law Directive No. 89/646 of the EEC Council. This law regulates the establishment, operation, and supervision of credit institutions. In 1992, the members of the European Community decided in Maastricht, among other things, to create the European Central Bank (摘CB) and the European System of Central Banks (摘SCB) whose primary objective would be to maintain price stability. The ESCB is to be composed of the Central Banks of the member states. To implement these provisions, a draft of a law establishing the independence of the Central Bank of Greece is being prepared.

CIVIL PROCEDURE

The Greek Code of Civil Procedure has been in force since September 16, 1968, and contains eight Books. The First Book (General Provisions) covers principally the jurisdiction and competence of the courts, parties to proceedings, deadlines and procedural principles. The Second Book regulates the proceedings in the Courts of First Instance (Judges of the Peace and One- and Three-Member courts).

The Third Book regulates the appeal process. There are two types of appeals by which one can seek the overturn of a judicial decision. Ordinary appeals consist of matters such as the reopening of defaults. Extraordinary appeals include contested judgments and cassation. A regular appeal or a reopening of default lie against final judgments. In the case of a regular appeal, the court retries the whole case de novo.

Extraordinary appeals can be pursued after the ordinary appeals have been exhausted either because they were rejected or because the deadline for their filing passed. Unlike the ordinary appeals, extraordinary ones do not stay execution of the decision under challenge. Cassation is confined to a review of the attacked decision痴 conformity with the law. Questions of fact are not dealt with in cassation proceedings.

Book Four of the Civil Procedure Code deals with special proceedings. Their main feature is that they are faster and simpler than ordinary proceedings. Special proceedings cover a wide range of disputes such as divorce (Arts. 592-613), parents and children (Arts. 614-622), orders to pay debts on the basis of documentary evidence (Arts. 623-634), negotiable instruments (Arts. 635-646), landlords and tenants (Arts. 647-662), labor matters (Arts. 663-676), fees for the performance of independent services (Arts. 677-681), automobile accidents (Art. 681A) and alimony and child custody (Arts. 681B-681C). The Fifth Book covers injunction proceedings.

Book Six of the Civil Procedure Code deals with noncontentious proceedings. Civil courts have jurisdiction not only over disputes but also over cases of voluntary jurisdiction which are assigned to them by statute. The distinction between disputes and cases of voluntary jurisdiction has to do with their content. The court examines whether there is any violation of a substantive right in a relation between two or more persons. Cases of voluntary jurisdiction, on the other hand, involve one person and his or her legal situation. In these cases, the court seeks to protect the person in view of his or her future needs. Noncontentious proceedings are listed in Arts. 782-866 of the Code.

Book Seven regulates arbitration. The Code of Civil Procedure treats arbitration as a method of settling certain private law disputes and particularly divorce and other matrimonial cases of a personal character as well as labor disputes.

Book Eight of the Civil Procedure Code governs enforcement proceedings. A creditor can seek public recourse and enforce a claim provided that the creditor has an instrument that is enforceable by execution. The types of enforceable instruments are enumerated in Art. 904(2). Enforcement proceedings can lead to execution of a judgment regarding specific performance or satisfaction of a money claim. In the former case, the execution concerns the transfer of title to a movable or immovable property and the obligation to perform or avoid performing a certain act. In the latter case, the execution leads to the attachment of the debtor痴 property in order to be sold in a public auction with the proceeds being used to satisfy the money claim.

CRIMINAL LAW

Criminal law (poiniko dikaion) has traditionally been codified in Greece. The current Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure entered into force on January 1, 1951. In addition, there are many other statutes that apply to specific offenses and regulate specific behavior. Examples are the Code of Traffic Regulations and the laws on drugs and antiquities. Others include the Military Penal Code, practiced before the separate military tribunals. Their jurisdiction extends to all the personnel of the armed forces.

The Penal Code itself is divided into two parts and contains three books. The General Part includes the First Book of the Code, Arts. 1-133 containing the general provisions governing all crimes. The Special Part includes the Second Book, Arts. 134-460 and defines the various crimes and penalties. The Third Book contains transitory provisions.

The underlying principle governing Greek criminal law is nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege. In other words, there shall be no crime nor shall punishment be inflicted unless provided by a law in force prior to the perpetration of the act, which law defines the elements which constitute the criminal act as provided by Art. 7 of the Constitution. In no case can punishments be inflicted that are more severe than that provided for at the time of the perpetration of the act.

THE LEGAL PROFESSION

In order to become an attorney-at-law in Greece, it is necessary to train under the supervision of an attorney-at-law for 18 months following graduation from a Greek law school. At that point, the trainee lawyer is qualified to take the bar examination and upon passing is qualified to represent others both as a barrister and solicitor. Recently, Presidential Decree No. 52/1993 introduced into Greek law Directive 89/48 of the EU Council by which lawyers of any member state can practice law in any other member state provided they pass an examination testing their language skills.

There are 63 bar associations in Greece. The ones in the larger cities, such as Athens, Piraeus, and Thessaloniki, stand out for their large numbers of members and their degree of specialization. One can practice law and represent clients only before the courts of the district to whose bar association he or she belongs. Only in criminal cases is a lawyer allowed to represent clients in courts outside of his or her district. As a practical matter, special appearances are allowed.

The size of law offices in Greece is small. It is quite common for lawyers to share the same office space and, thus, share expenses without being partners. Indeed, legal partnerships were only codified recently in Greece by Presidential Decree No. 518/1989. Law firms are still rare and lawyers prefer the traditional style of small-size law offices.

A law partnership typically has a handful of senior partners, who are also the founding partners and a few associates and trainees. Senior partners deal with major cases assigning various tasks to their associates and trainees. The single practitioner law office is still more prevalent. The legal profession in Greece usually transcends from generation to generation and there is often more than one member of the same family in one law office.

Generally speaking, Greek law offices fall into one of two types. The first focuses primarily in one area of law such as in private maritime law or criminal law. The other, which covers most of the lawyers in Greece, consists of a general practice dealing with a wide range of matters.

Notaries Public also play a very important role in the Greek legal system. The responsibilities of the notary public are threefold and complement those of the attorneys. First, a notary public drafts legal instruments such as contracts and wills. Second, a notary authenticates instruments. Third, a notary retains the original of every instrument he or she drafts, thereby functioning as a public record office. Notaries are trained in much the same way as are attorneys.

Judges and public prosecutors, who also have similar legal training, enter the Civil Service upon passing a special examination following law school. They, subsequently, rise in the judicial hierarchy as they gain experience in the lower courts.

[This Introduction is Chapter 10 in a loose-leaf two-volume work, kept current by updating, titled 敵uide to Doing Business in Greece, which consists of (a) thirty chapters on the history and economy of Greece, on the constitution, and especially on business law and practice (contract law, company law, antitrust law, investment incentives, taxation, accounting, banking regulation, labor law and immigration, property, admiralty, insurance, imports-exports and jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments) and is accompanied by (b) six annexes with case studies on acquiring and establishing a company in Greece, on establishing a distributorship and franchise, on purchasing and leasing real estate and on notaries and powers of attorney and (c) six compilations of reference materials on investment guides, legal texts, sample charters, directories and other key data. The work may be obtained from the American Hellenic Institute, 1220 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, USA, and is currently priced at $250.]

By permission of the author and the American Hellenic Institute.

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