During today’s meeting, the plenary session of the presidents of the bar associations of Greece, during today’s meeting it decided by a majority (31-29) to propose to the country’s 63 bar associations the extension of the targeted abstention of their members: 1) From the criminal trials until Friday 1.3.2024 and 2) From the issuance of orders payment and enforcement actions of banks and receivables management companies (Funds) until 31.3.2024.

In more detail, the plenary which met today in Athens, issued the following announcement:


The Plenary from the first moment when the draft law for the amendment of the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure was submitted for public consultation pointed out that this initiative of the Government, which was undertaken without any prior consultation with the institutional bodies involved in the awarding of the criminal of justice and without the formation of a law-making committee, obeys the cries of criminal populism and is a setback for criminal law.

It introduces “prosecutorial” inspired and expedient provisions, with stricter penalties and their construction, shrinks fundamental guarantees and rights of the accused, violating the principles of a fair trial of the ECHR, increases the limit of appeal of decisions and the cost of exercising the right to judicial protection , increases legal uncertainty and leads to unforgiving and unenforceable situations, taking into account the state of the country’s penitentiaries.

The legal body institutionally highlighted the issues and problems that are going to arise, submitted specific proposals and systematically claimed essential amendments.

The Ministry made amendments to individual provisions, accepting relevant proposals of the Plenary, which concern in particular:

1. In the expansion of the jurisdiction of the Three-member Criminal Court

2. In the institutionalization of the mandatory representation of a lawyer before the Three-member Misdemeanor Court

3. In the amendment of article 349 of the CPC, where the possibility of a second postponement is now given for reasons of force majeure.

4. In the amendment of the provision of article 187 par. 6 PK

5. In the amendment of article 336 of the CPC

6. In the provision of a mandatory preliminary examination or ex officio preliminary investigation and in misdemeanors within the jurisdiction of the Three-member Misdemeanor Court

7. The adjudication of misdemeanors on appeal by a three-member composition, the establishment of a preliminary examination and in cases under the jurisdiction of a Three-Member Misdemeanor Court.

8. The expansion of the cases that will go through the intermediate procedure of the Councils

The Plenary once again expresses its strong opposition to the new provisions of the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, since the upcoming amendments do not change the philosophy of the law and do not negate its negative effects.


The Plenary, regarding the rearrangement of the country’s judicial map, adheres to its previous decision, which is as follows:

1. All the currently existing Courts of Appeal and Courts of First Instance of the Country to remain as they are.

2. Regarding the Magistrates’ Courts:

A. The Magistrate’s Court of the seat of the Court of First Instance to be abolished and merged with the Central Court of First Instance.

B. Of the other currently existing Magistrates’ Courts, which will be deemed to be retained as judicial formations, after the consolidation of the first degree of jurisdiction:

i. Those Magistrates’ Courts that currently have the necessary infrastructure and staff to function as regional Courts of First Instance of the Central Court with the current material competence of the Single Member.

ii. Those Magistrates’ Courts that do not currently have the necessary infrastructure and staff to function as regional Courts of First Instance, but have a turnover, should merge with the central Court of First Instance and operate as local branches of it with the current material competence of the Magistrate’s Court, until they are upgraded by acquiring the necessary infrastructure and personnel.

The specialization of the above should be done after consultation of the Ministry of Justice with the locally competent Bar Associations of the Country, where this has not been done to date and with the necessary documentation.


The Plenary demands the satisfaction of its standing requests and in particular:

1. The abolition of the presumptive calculation of taxable income

2. The reinstatement of mandatory performance in contracts

3. The increase of the exemption limit from the VAT regime for incomes up to 25,000 euros

4. The reduction of judicial VAT

5. The complete abolition of the pretense fee

6. The revaluation of the reference amount of the Pre-Collection letters

7. The abolition of the unemployment contribution of 120 euros in favor of OAED

8. The increase in the fees of the State’s salaried lawyers

9. The extension of the insurance capacity of the lawyers and their families, by paying the health contributions of the previous year and re-regulating the insurance debts on a sustainable basis.


The Plenary in its assertive context has recommended the protection of the first residence of vulnerable borrowers, the removal of the abusive behavior of the Claims Management Companies and the respect of the borrowers’ lawyers.

The Claims Management Companies committed themselves in writing to the legal body for the following:

1. The creation of a line for the exclusive service of lawyers

2. The response to requests, within an exclusive period of three (3) days either by employees or by lawyers depending on the nature of the request.

3. The five-year validity of the powers of attorney of the debtors’ lawyers.

4. The non-execution of acts of execution against debtors, which have been subject to the provisions of Katseli Law (Law 3896/10).

The Plenary awaits the implementation of the above commitments, in order to reassess its position.

Following these, the Plenary decided by a majority (31-29) to propose to the Bar Associations of the country the extension of the abstention of their members:

1. From the criminal trials until Friday 1.3.2024.

2. From the issuance of Payment Orders and enforcement actions of Banks and Receivables Management Companies (Funds) until 31.3.2024.

As a framework for abstinence, the current one is proposed.”