Top court deems ac­tion il­le­gal, un­con­sti­tu­tional

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The Coun­cil of State, the coun­try’s high­est ad­min­is­tra­tive court, is­sued a de­ci­sion yes­ter­day say­ing that an anti-aus­ter­ity strike by the coun­try’s lawyers, which started on Jan­uary 12, is il­le­gal, un­con­sti­tu­tional and vi­o­lates in­ter­na­tional law. The ac­tion has par­a­lyzed Greek courts, leav­ing more than 300,000 cases pend­ing and court of­fi­cials in­creas­ingly con­cerned about how to deal with the back­log once the lawyers re­turn to work. Ac­cord­ing to the Coun­cil of State, the on­go­ing na­ture of the walk­out is not per­mit­ted by the Greek Con­sti­tu­tion nor by in­ter­na­tional treaties. Apart from freez­ing civil cases, the strike has also halted sev­eral ma­jor cor­rup­tion tri­als that could bring much-needed rev­enue into state cof­fers, in­clud­ing the Siemens cash-for-con­tracts scan­dal, the Pro­ton Bank trial and the Vato­pedi land swap af­fair. Last month, how­ever, the Athens Bar As­so­ci­a­tion gave per­mis­sion to the lawyers in­volved in the trial of ne­o­fas­cist party Golden Dawn to pro­ceed with the trial.

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