Criminal law is based on the nulla poena sine lege principle. Crimes are divided according to their seriousness into crimes, offenses and fines. The death penalty is preserved, with execution by shooting. In the event of an attempt or reduced imputability, the sentence of imprisonment (10-20 years) is applied instead of the death penalty or life imprisonment and, being another penalty, this is reduced from one third of the maximum limit up to a quarter of the minimum. On crimes or crimes committed by Greeks abroad, or by foreigners against Greeks or against the state or against the national currency, the Greek criminal laws apply.
The criminal procedure is based on the principle of education advertising. Crimes, political crimes and press crimes not related to private life are judged by the jurors. With regard to execution, for penalties against freedom, the institute of conditional release and for short-term penalties, the institutes of suspension and commutation of money apply. The institute of agricultural prisons works happily.
The civil procedure is based on the system of orality. The courts are divided into magistrates (εἰρηνοδικεῖα, see the fr.juge de paix ; jurisdiction up to 5000 drachmas), courts of 1st instance (πρωτοδικεῖα, over 5000 drachmas) and Courts of appeal (ἐϕετεῖα). The supreme court is the Supreme Court (῎Αρειος Πάγος). There are two degrees of jurisdiction: the Cassation does not constitute a third degree, because it does not judge the fact, but only the law. Local jurisdiction is determined primarily by the defendant’s domicile, while the international jurisdiction of the Greek courts is determined primarily by the nationality of the parties. Testimonial evidence, beyond two thousand drachmas, is not allowed except for exceptions (especially in commercial matters). The evidence is freely evaluated by the judge. The execution of the sentence takes place through attachment and expropriation of furniture or immovable property and with personal arrest. For the exequaturforeign sentences against Greeks are subject to a specific contract.
As civil law (with the exception of the Ionian Islands, Crete and Samo where the aforementioned local civil codes still apply), Byzantine law is in force. In practice, the Justinianian Corpus iuris civilis is mainly applied, completed by later Byzantine laws, especially by the Basilicas of Leo; therefore most of the institutes of Roman law are still encountered in Greece, if these have not been modified by later laws or customs.
Greek citizenship is acquired on the basis of the ius sanguinis and in some cases according to the ius soli. A Greek woman, married to a foreigner, does not lose her Greek citizenship if she does not acquire the citizenship of her husband through marriage. Foreigners are equal to citizens before the law. The age of majority begins at twenty-one. The establishment of associations is free, but for the acquisition of legal personality their recognition by the state is required. The prescription is usually thirty years, in some cases two years or five years.
The valid marriage is only the religious one. Marriage capacity for men begins at 14, for women at 12; parental consent is not required after the age of majority. Impediments exist by kinship, by spiritual bond of baptism, by protection, by adultery, by diversity of religion, by pre-existence of another marriage, etc. Marriage does not change the patrimonial independence of the spouses; the husband has no right to ask for a dowry, although this is customary; donation between spouses is prohibited. Divorce is pronounced by the court for legitimate cause. Legitimation of children by subsequent marriage or by decree is permitted. The search for paternity is also allowed (judicial recognition and voluntary recognition of the natural child). The father administers the assets of the minor children and has the usufruct. In the protection of minors, the guardian needs the opinion of the family council for every important administrative act and also the authorization of the court.
In succession, the rule is nemo pro parte testatus, pro parte intestatus decedere potest. Regarding the form, the wills are divided into autographs, public and secret. The ascendants and descendants and, under conditions, also the brothers are entitled to the legitimate share. The relatives up to the fourth degree are called in the ab intestato succession, with competition from the spouse, who in the absence of other relatives remains the only heir, with competition, up to half, of the state for assets exceeding 500 thousand drachmas; in the absence of heirs, the state succeeds.
Property is purchased on furniture by delivery, on property by transcription in public books. Mere agreement does not effect the transfer of ownership. The Roman institutes of emphyteusis and surface are in force. The mortgage on the real estate is purchased through registration in public books; for furniture, in addition to the ordinary pledge, there is also an apparent pledge on certain movable assets with the property held by the debtor.
The law of obligations is based on the principle of freedom of negotiation and the non-formality of conventions. A notarial deed is required ad substantiam only for conventions concerning donation, constitution of dowry or property rights in rem. The interest rate is established on the basis of the Bank of Greece discount rate, and can be higher than this by 2% in the case of legal and default interest, and up to 3% in the case of conventional interest.. In buying and selling, the risk of the thing bought concerns the buyer; the sale dissolves the lease. Intellectual property is protected for 50 years after the author’s death. Only those expressly mentioned by the law are recognized as civil offenses (especially lex Aquilia); the actio Pauliana protects creditors.
According to the constitution, the work enjoys the protection of the state. In principle, the seizure of the daily wages of workers and of the salaries of private employees is prohibited. The denunciation of the employment contract must be made within certain limits, according to the duration of the employment relationship. The work of minors and women is subject to protective restrictions. The hygiene and insurance of the workers are protected by special provisions according to the categories of workers. The Washington Convention eight hours, some other work restrictions, and Sunday rest apply. The application of labor legislation is supervised by the undersecretariat of labor at the Ministry of National Economy. L’ worker organization takes place through professional unions and civil and agricultural cooperatives. Labor disputes are resolved by special procedure. Employers are required to pay compensation for accidents at work. Lately, compulsory insurance has been established for all workers and employees at the Social Insurance Body and collective labor agreements are applied.
The commercial law it applies to expressly determined commercial acts. A trader is someone who carries out commercial acts by profession; by law, all anonymous companies are traders. The law of bills of exchange, money orders and bank checks reproduces the international conventions of Geneva of 1930 and 1931. General partnerships, limited partnerships, non-apparent and anonymous companies are recognized. Public limited companies are subject to a certain control by the state. Protective provisions of trade are those on the prohibition of illicit competition, on industrial brands and on patents. Private insurance companies can only be exercised by public limited companies. In maritime law, the privileges that are preferred to the maritime mortgage have been limited to the minimum possible term. After the bankruptcy has been declared by the court, the liquidation is entrusted to a trustee under the supervision of the reporting judge (private system). The main organ of the bankruptcy is the assembly of creditors.
The private international law greek is based on the principle of nationality. Capacity is judged according to the lex patriae ; however, in the obligations contracted in Greece between foreigners and Greeks, non-capable foreigners are considered as capable, if such they are according to Greek law. According to the lex patriae, family law is regulated. Rights in rem are governed by the lex rei sitae. The movable succession is governed by the lex patriae del de cuius, while the real estate succession is subject to the lex rei sitae. Contracts are subject to the autonomy of the contracting parties and in the event of non-indication of the law, the lex loci solutionis. Ex delicto bonds are subject to Greek law. The form of the acts can be regulated by both the lex loci actus and the lex patriae as well as the lex causae. However, the marriage of the Greek also abroad must always be a religious one. Finally, the application of foreign law is prohibited when it is in conflict with Greek public order.