Does staffing affect the time to dispose cases in Greek courts?
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.
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Volume (Year): 27 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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