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Does staffing affect the time to dispose cases in Greek courts?


  • Mitsopoulos, Michael
  • Pelagidis, Theodore


This paper examines one particular aspect of the Greek courts: the time they need to dispose cases. As an indirect measure for the time needed to dispose cases, we use the ratio of cases remaining at the end of the year to total cases introduced. Using this metric, we document a steady increase in the time needed to dispose cases. Furthermore, we examine whether staffing with respect to caseload, and especially the lack of sufficient staffing for a given caseload, is a factor that contributes to the slow disposition of cases in Greek courts. The data suggest that the ratio of staff to total number of cases affects the time needed to dispose of cases in appeals courts and higher civil trial courts, but not in lower civil trial courts or administrative courts. Therefore, the recommendation of the existing literature, which mainly follows from the analysis of first instance courts, to emphasize measures that simplify procedures and lead to an increase in accountability and competition, should be adopted, at least for courts of first instance. For appeals courts, our results suggest that the improvement of the staff to case ratio may be paired with such measures, while the improvement of the quality of first instance rulings may reduce the appeals rate. The available data is also used to present the steady increase in the appeals rate and the lack of a reaction to the documented increase in the budget of the Ministry of Justice.

Suggested Citation

  • Mitsopoulos, Michael & Pelagidis, Theodore, 2007. "Does staffing affect the time to dispose cases in Greek courts?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 219-244.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:27:y:2007:i:2:p:219-244 DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2007.06.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Samantha Bielen & Wim Marneffe & Peter Grajzl & Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl, 2016. "The Duration of Judicial Deliberation: Evidence from Belgium," CESifo Working Paper Series 5947, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Dimitrova-Grajzl, Valentina & Grajzl, Peter & Slavov, Atanas & Zajc, Katarina, 2016. "Courts in a transition economy: Case disposition and the quantity–quality tradeoff in Bulgaria," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 18-38.
    3. Stefan Voigt, 2016. "Determinants of judicial efficiency: a survey," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 183-208, October.
    4. Dimitrova-Grajzl, Valentina & Grajzl, Peter & Zajc, Katarina, 2014. "Understanding modes of civil case disposition: Evidence from Slovenian courts," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 924-939.
    5. Christian Daude, 2016. "Structural reforms to boost inclusive growth in Greece," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1298, OECD Publishing.
    6. Samantha Bielen & Peter Grajzl & Wim Marneffe, 2017. "Understanding the Time to Court Case Resolution: A Competing Risks Analysis Using Belgian Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 6450, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. repec:kap:ejlwec:v:44:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10657-016-9544-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Roberto Ippoliti & Massimiliano Vatiero, 2014. "An analysis of how 2002 judicial reorganisation has impacted on the performance of the First Instance Courts (Preture) in Ticino," IdEP Economic Papers 1408, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
    9. Bielen Samantha & Marneffe Wim & Vereeck Lode, 2015. "An Empirical Analysis of Case Disposition Time in Belgium," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 293-316, July.
    10. Di Vita, Giuseppe, 2010. "Production of laws and delays in court decisions," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 276-281, September.
    11. Michael Mitsopoulos & Theodore Pelagidis, 2010. "Greek appeals courts’ quality analysis and performance," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 17-39, August.
    12. Giuseppe Vita, 2012. "Normative complexity and the length of administrative disputes: evidence from Italian regions," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 197-213, August.
    13. Stefan Voigt & Nora El-Bialy, 2016. "Identifying the determinants of aggregate judicial performance: taxpayers’ money well spent?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 283-319, April.
    14. Dimitrova-Grajzl Valentina & Grajzl Peter & Zajc Katarina & Sustersic Janez, 2012. "Judicial Incentives and Performance at Lower Courts: Evidence from Slovenian Judge-Level Data," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 215-252, August.
    15. Dimitrova-Grajzl, Valentina & Grajzl, Peter & Sustersic, Janez & Zajc, Katarina, 2012. "Court output, judicial staffing, and the demand for court services: Evidence from Slovenian courts of first instance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 19-29.
    16. Berlemann, Michael & Christmann, Robin, 2017. "The Role of Precedents on Court Delay - Evidence from a civil law country," MPRA Paper 80057, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Di Vita Giuseppe, 2015. "Centralization versus Decentralization of Legislative Production and the Effect on Litigation: A Case Study," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 267-291, July.

    More about this item


    Judiciary; Efficiency; Greece; Panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • K49 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Other


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