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Edited by Jan M. Smits
Chapter 31: Greece
Greece (Ellada), officially called Hellas, belongs to the Romanic families of law. Its legal system is located somewhere in between the French and the German legal families, although it seems to approach the German family much more closely. The influence of French legislation and doctrine may be traced back to the first revolutionary assemblies (Epidaurus, 1822, Astros, 1823, Trizena, 1827), which adopted liberal and democratic constitutions modelled on the French Declaration of Human Rights. Nowadays, the influence of French models is confined to commercial and administrative law. As far as the civil law is concerned, it was influenced by the work of the German Pandectists, while the redaction of the German Civil Code (BGB) was used as a pattern for the Greek Civil Code (GCC). Regarding criminal law, the Penal Law of 1833 and the Criminal Procedure Act of 1834 – both drafted by the Bavarian lawyer G.L. Maurer and based on Bavarian models – after being applied for more than a century and amended several times, were replaced by the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1950 which entered into force on 1 January 1951 and is in force as subsequently amended. In Greece there is uniformity of law. The only official national language is Greek: Greek is the language used in all statutes and in all court proceedings as well.
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