Greece Law History Part II

By | January 27, 2022

In 1874 the final draft of the civil code was completed and presented to the Ministry of Justice, drawn up on the basis of the French, Italian and Saxon ones. However, the approval of these projects was not possible, especially because, according to the constitution in force at the time, the global approval of the codes, admitted by the modern constitution, was not permitted. The laws (1878) on bankruptcy and bankruptcy, in imitation of the new Belgian, French and Italian legislation, replaced the third book of the Code de commerci. Also important are the laws on default interest (1882) of French imitation, on bearer securities (1885), on the abolition of commercial courts (1887), on the protection of industrial and commercial brands (1893) and on general warehouses (1896).

From the last decades of the century. In the nineteenth and especially in the first decade of the twentieth, an orientation towards the German one is noted in the Greek legislation. Moreover, since von Maurer’s legislation, not exempt from Bavarian influence, also given the application in Greece of Roman-Byzantine law, for the interpretation of which knowledge of the German doctrine formed through the usus modernus Pandectarum was necessary, the Greek doctrine had had relations with the German one. The drafting of the German civil code helped to attract the interest of the Greek legislator as well. And so, while the previous period was characterized by the almost exclusive influence of French legislation, the horizon of the Greek legislator is no longer restricted, but extends beyond the German one, also to the Austrian, Italian, French and Swiss legislations.

After the peaceful revolution of 1909, which brought about the revision of the constitution (1911), there is a great legislative fervor. Particularly the attention of the legislator is drawn to the protection of the economically weaker, and the foundations of workers’ and social legislation are laid. But all Greek legislation, in general, undergoes major changes. German is the source of the law on time-limit prescriptions (1909). The civil procedure, and above all the section concerning the executive process, undergoes a profound renewal. Profound changes also lead to the commercial code (judgment and prescription of bills of exchange and money order, bankruptcy, maritime law and insurance) four laws of 191c with complete replacement of the second book of the Code de commerce. In 1911, the law on conventional interest and usury and the law on wills were enacted. Greek legislation was also introduced in the new provinces (Macedonia, Epirus, Aegean islands, Crete) by virtue of the law of 1914, however the civil code of Samos of 1899 and the Cretan code of 1904 (in which the right of family and inheritances), such as local rights. Of the laws enacted in 1914, the law on absence is Swiss imitation, the German one on illicit competition, the French one on associations and accidents at work, and the Austrian one on cooperatives. The law on the recovery of lost things (1918) is based on German law; the law on the sale of dotal real estate (1918) imitates Italian and French law. In 1920 many important laws were published, especially the one on divorce based on Swiss law, the one on succession registered on the basis of the German law, the one on the compulsory denunciation of employment agreements, on the basis of Italian and German law, the fundamental one on anonymous companies, that on literary property and that on patents.

The establishment and functioning, from the year 1928, of the Council of State (Ευμβούλιον τῆς ‘Επικρατείας) presents exceptional importance, as regards the evolution of law, which, with the annulment of unconstitutional or illegal administrative acts, contributes to the realization of the “rule of law”. The legislation on natural children (1926-1927) creates controversy regarding its application. Also worth mentioning are the laws on condominium ownership (1929) and on the mortgage on machinery and other installations (1929), the recent legislation for the protection of the national currency, the laws introducing the Geneva conventions on bills and money orders (1932) and on bank checks (1933), the law on the rehabilitation of the bankrupt (1934) and the law on the modification of sentences concerning periodic services and on the punishment of the violation of the maintenance obligation (1935). Social legislation continues to occupy the Greek legislator, and the latest expression of this constitutes the Social Insurance Law (1934) and the Laws on Collective Labor Agreements and Collective Labor Conflicts (1935).

From 1930 the initiative dating back to 1911 for a general legislative reform, especially for the codification of civil law, was also resumed with greater zeal. A commission of five members (K. Demertzis, K. Triantafyllópoulos, Greece Balis, Greece Maridákis and P. Thebaìos) elaborated the draft of the civil code (1933-36), on the main basis of the law in force today in Greece, modified and completed according to modern foreign legislation, not in contrast with the social conditions of Greece. In addition to this, however, other commissions were also established and are working for the new codification of commercial and criminal law and civil and criminal procedure. The draft of the criminal code and that of the criminal procedure are under definitive revision.

Greece Law History 2