Checks and bal­ances

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY NIKOS XYDAKIS

so­ci­a­tion also con­demned – and justly so – the fact that laws are not en­forced equally in Greece, pref­er­en­tial amend­ments to draft laws and the con­stant changes that are made to bills be­fore they are rat­i­fied in Par­lia­ment – an is­sue that was also stressed by Par­lia­ment’s Bud­get Of­fice, though for a dif­fer­ent rea­son. Sure, the judges were right to stress th­ese ills, but they should not for­get that they too have dis­played be­hav­ior that flouts the law: On the one hand they de­fended, via ju­di­cial means, keep­ing their salaries at the same level they were at be­fore the cri­sis and de­manded that they be com­pen­sated for money lost since the cut­backs were en­forced, while on the other they con­trib­uted to the en­force­ment of emer­gency fis­cal poli­cies, open­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion up to in­ter­pre­ta­tion so they could jus­tify mea­sures en­forced by Greece’s cred­i­tors in the bailout mem­o­ran­dum. The judges also com­plained that courts are woe­fully un­der­staffed, stress­ing the prob­lem of mag­is­trates courts, where a call for 50 judges has been long-de­layed and where just 2,800 of the 5,000 as­signed po­si­tions for ju­di­cial em­ploy­ees are cur­rently filled. A func­tional and ef­fec­tive jus­tice sys­tem is one of the key com­po­nents not just for the re­cov­ery of the coun­try but for en­sur­ing that we live in a healthy democ­racy. In or­der to en­sure this, a de­bate needs to be launched on the role and se­lec­tion of the

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