A Panel Data Analysis of Greek Courts

29 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2005

See all articles by Michael S. Mitsopoulos

Michael S. Mitsopoulos

Hellenic Federation of Enterprises

Theodore Pelagidis

University of Piraeus; Brookings Institution

Date Written: March 2005

Abstract

This paper examines some aspects of the Greek courts. We use as an indirect measure for the time needed to dispense justice the ratio of cases remaining at the end of the year to total cases introduced. We document over time a steady increase in the time needed to dispense justice. Furthermore, it is examined if staffing with respect to caseload, and especially the lack of sufficient staffing for a given caseload, is a factor that contributes to the slow termination of cases in Greek courts. The analysis of the data suggests that the ratio of staff to total cases is a factor that does affect the time needed to terminate cases in appeals courts and higher civil courts of first instance, but not in administrative courts of first instance and lower civil courts of first instance. Therefore, the recommendation of the existing literature, following from the analysis mainly 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 should also reduce the appeals rate. Finally, other measures of the quality of justice dispensing mechanism are examined. We document a steady increase in the appeals rate, which in turn suggests a decline in the quality of the decisions of the courts of first instance.

Keywords: Judiciary, efficiency, Greece, panel data

JEL Classification: K00, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Mitsopoulos, Michael S. and Pelagidis, Theodore, A Panel Data Analysis of Greek Courts (March 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=705366 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.705366

Michael S. Mitsopoulos

Hellenic Federation of Enterprises ( email )

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Theodore Pelagidis (Contact Author)

University of Piraeus ( email )

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Piraeus, Attiki 18533
Greece
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Brookings Institution ( email )

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