Does Staffing Affect the Time to Dispose Cases in Greek Courts?

Posted: 14 May 2011

See all articles by Michael S. Mitsopoulos

Michael S. Mitsopoulos

Hellenic Federation of Enterprises

Theodore Pelagidis

University of Piraeus; Brookings Institution

Date Written: 2007


This paper examines one particular aspect of the Greek courts: the time they need to dispose cases. As an indirect measure for the time needed to dispose cases, we use the ratio of cases remaining at the end of the year to total cases introduced. Using this metric, we document a steady increase in the time needed to dispose cases. Furthermore, we examine whether staffing with respect to caseload, and especially the lack of sufficient staffing for a given caseload, is a factor that contributes to the slow disposition of cases in Greek courts. The data suggest that the ratio of staff to total number of cases affects the time needed to dispose of cases in appeals courts and higher civil trial courts, but not in lower civil trial courts or administrative courts. Therefore, the recommendation of the existing literature, which mainly follows from the analysis of first instance courts, to emphasize measures that simplify procedures and lead to an increase in accountability and competition, should be adopted, at least for courts of first instance. For appeals courts, our results suggest that the improvement of the staff to case ratio may be paired with such measures, while the improvement of the quality of first instance rulings may reduce the appeals rate. The available data is also used to present the steady increase in the appeals rate and the lack of a reaction to the documented increase in the budget of the Ministry of Justice.

Keywords: Judiciary, Efficiency, Greece, Panel data

Suggested Citation

Mitsopoulos, Michael S. and Pelagidis, Theodore, Does Staffing Affect the Time to Dispose Cases in Greek Courts? (2007). International Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2007, Available at SSRN:

Michael S. Mitsopoulos (Contact Author)

Hellenic Federation of Enterprises ( email )

Xenofontos str 5
Athens, 10557
2106722694 (Phone)

Theodore Pelagidis

University of Piraeus ( email )

21 Lambraki street
Piraeus, Attiki 18533
+3021 04142526 (Phone)
+3021 4142571 (Fax)


Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States


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