ATHENS – The suspension of the operation of courts and the National School of Judges for reasons of public health has been extended in Greece until May 15, through a joint ministerial decision (JMD) issued by Justice Minister Konstantinos Tsiaras, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias and National Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos. The new JMD issued late on Saturday maintains the restrictions of the previous JMD, barring some key exceptions:
– The Council of State, Court of Audit and administrative courts will from May 6 be allowed to try cases where the litigants have stated that they will not appear in court.
– Civil courts are permitted to hold trials relating to the guarantee, registration or removal or adjustment of mortgage loans, the temporary seizure of assets, including real estate, court sequestration, sealing, unsealing, auditing and public deposition, European order to seize an account or the revoking of such orders.
The JMD establishes criteria for the safe operation of courtrooms during the Covid-19 pandemic, in line with the decisions of the expert committee on public health emergencies due to contagious factors.
These include the use of masks by the judges on the bench, all counsel and litigants; availability of antiseptics in all court areas; maintaining safe distances of at least 1.5 metres between all individuals; a maximum number of one person per 10 square metres in courtrooms and all indoor areas.
Finally, the restrictions imposed by the previous JMD will continue to apply unti Monday, April 27.