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Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    The Greek criminal justice system is based on West European models. The constitution and civil laws include strict protections for the rights of the accused. The judiciary is an independent branch of government within which jurisdiction in various types of criminal justice proceedings is clearly defined.

    The Criminal Code

    The criminal code is based on the Bavarian codes, which were transferred by King Otto, the first king of independent Greece (r. 1833-62) from his homeland in the 1830s, but considerable revision has occurred since that time. According to the constitution, the judiciary is independent and judicial powers are vested in the courts of law, while the creation of extraordinary courts is expressly prohibited. The court system is divided into administrative, civil, and criminal sections (see The Branches of Government , ch. 4).

    The criminal code defines three grades of crime: petty offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies. Sentences at the lower court level can be appealed. Unusual punishment is prohibited by the constitution. Custodial sentences for petty offenses and misdemeanors range from ten days to five years, while those for felonies range from five to twenty years. Offenders sentenced to imprisonment for a term less than eighteen months can have their sentences converted into fines. The option of capital punishment is maintained for some categories of serious crime (not including political crimes), but the death penalty has not been imposed since the late 1970s.

    Data as of December 1994

    NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece CRIMINAL JUSTICE information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece CRIMINAL JUSTICE should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
Copyright © 2004 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)