Law and Compliance in Greece

Overview by

Business Contract

Law Applicable to the Contract
Greek courts will generally uphold the parties’ choice of law in a commercial contract, unless sensitive public policy reasons exist for not doing so. However, certain areas of national law will apply, irrespective of the parties’ choice of law, for example, mandatory legal provisions relating to: Consumer protection, Competition law, Patents, Employee rights.
Advisable Incoterms
It is preferable to choose an incoterm FOB or CIF. Avoid EXW, if you do not want to have to take care of the transport.
Language of Domestic Contract
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
French, English or any other language is possible if both parties agree.

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Independence of Justice
The Greek Constitution divides state authority into the three functions of executive, legislative, and judicial (Art. 26). It grants the Judiciary independence from the other functions and the power to control and even annul acts of the public administration and to examine the constitutionality of acts of Parliament and refuse to apply statutes if they are found to be unconstitutional. The Constitution also grants to all citizens the right to seek judicial protection whenever their rights are infringed (Art. 20).
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Yes. But corruption continues to be a problem. Greece was ranked 56 out of 180 countries surveyed in Transparency International's 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index.
The Language of Justice
Recourse to an Interpreter
Legal Similarities
The Greek legal system is a member of the family of European laws and is especially influenced by German and French law. For the most part, Greek law is codified and, unlike Anglo-American common law, only enacted laws either in the form of codes or other statutes are the sources of law in addition to custom and international law (Civil Code, Art. 1).

The Different Legal Codes

Greek Constitution 1975/86/2001 Division of authorities, grants to all citizens the right to seek judicial protection whenever their rights are infringed.
Civil Code General principles, law of obligations, property law, family law, inheritance law
Civil Procedure Code Jurisdiction and competence of courts, special and enforcement proceeding
Commercial Code Law of merchants, industrial property
Penal Code Criminal law
Criminal Procedure Code Criminal procedures
Checking National Laws Online
Ministry of Justice
Country Guides
Buyusa Country guide

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The Jurisdictions

The Supreme Court for civil and criminal cases (Areios Pagos) Court of Cassation, it deals only with questions of law and not of fact.
13 Courts of Appeals Appellate courts in the 13 largest Greek cities.
Three-Member District Courts First Instance (exercise general jurisdiction over all actions, criminal, civil,) and appellate jurisdiction over the decisions of the Justices of Peace.
One-Member District Courts First instance over civil cases involving claims for amounts not exceeding 80.000 EUR.
Justices of Peace First instance over civil cases involving claims for amounts not exceeding 12.000 EUR.
Find more on about Legal and Compliance Issues in Greece.

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