In Greece people are usually required by law to be represented by a lawyer in courts.

In Private Law the sanction is fictitious default( the litigant may be there but the judge is supposed to disconsider them).

On an eventual default the plaintiff loses the case while the defendant is presumed(fictitiously) to avow the plaintiffs' factual claims.

In Public Law the sanction is their legal remedy request to be considered inadmissible. The judge simply rejects the request to legal remedy without considering the substantial/real facts.

Judges in Greece must have the equivalent of a J.D and must have been lawyers registered in the bar for 3 years before sitting the exam to enter the National School of Judges. But their position as judges is incompatible with them keeping their status as lawyers in the bar. They need to leave the bar before being admitted into the National School of Judges. We have some( a minority) Professors( with J.D, L.L.M, S.J.D and a postdoctoral fellowship) who are judges(in the court of appeal) and not lawyers. I don't think such a professor would know less about Law than the average Lawyer registered in the Bar.

There is no constitutional court in Greece. The judicial examination of whether law is in accordance or not with the constitution is diffuse and takes place incidentally and situationally. The judge in concreto is burdened with checking every time. Each judge judges whether the law they apply is anti-constitutional. They are obligated not to enforce an anti-constitutional law

In the Greek constitution there are 3 opposing constitutional rights/freedoms. One is the freedom of personality, the second is proper administration of justice( courts are not supposed to be circi where a person who does not know law can obstruct their function with meaningless cases), and the last one is the human value maxim; people are not supposed to be used as a means. When 2 opposing constitutional rights contravene, the law should at least be suitable/expedient to protect the one the law is supposed to protect. If it is obviously unsuitable/inexpedient to protect the right it is supposed to protect the restriction of the other one is anti-constitutional.

De lege lata/expressis verbis even a Judge must be represented by a lawyer before courts.

In concreto( when a judge is the litigant) is the restriction of the personal freedom of judges( some of which are even professors) anti-constitutional, how can them being forced to find a lawyer to represent them, should they want legal aid for themselves, be considered expedient to ensure the protection of the proper administration of justice? In abstracto the refusal of legal aid in their specific case will lead to a lot of notoriety and lay-people will be discouraged to obstruct justice, but on average judges know law better than the average lawyer, isn't there a case for in concreto inexpediency?

1 Answer 1


All are equal before the law

In theory, anyway.

If Greek law requires all non-lawyers to be represented by a lawyer and if judges are not lawyers, then judges need to find a lawyer.

In my country, judges are still obliged to wear robes and powdered wigs which makes them look like bad actors in a costume drama and is clearly not necessary for the proper administration of justice but it does keep the wig and robe makers employed.

Whether a law is a good law is a political and cultural question, not a legal one.

  • +1 For "Whether a law is a good law is a political and cultural question, not a legal one." I am incurably a legal positivist. Greece follows the maxim Summum jus, summa injuria. In Greece the constitutional equity requires similar treatment for similar cases and dissimilar treatment for evidently dissimilar cases. Evidently the average judge knows Law better than the average lawyer in the bar. De lege lata the Professors who are Judges in the Court of Appeal are required to be represented by a lawyer even if that lawyer was the last graduate of Law School with 0 experience in court cases. Apr 10, 2020 at 13:11
  • How is such a requirement necessary and proportional to the proper administration of justice without using the specific litigant as a means for the general proper administration of justice? Apr 10, 2020 at 13:13

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