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HELLENIC REPUBLIC
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Ministry of Justice, Transparency
and Human Rights
    

International Judicial Cooperation in Civil Cases

International Judicial cooperation in civil matters is based on multilateral or bilateral translational agreements or E.U. Regulations. Multilateral agreements are entered into within the scope of international organizations such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Hague Conference etc.
In this case, the Ministry of Justice operates either as the Central Authority in the sense of cooperation with respective authorities of other countries, aiming to exchange information in the field of civil law (substantive and procedural law) as well as to facilitate the commencement and conduction of judicial or administrative procedures or as intermediary authority for the provision of judicial Aid from the judicial authorities of the country to the respective authorities of other state parties and vice versa, such as examination of witnesses, experts, forwarding and service of documents etc.
Within the framework of the European Council, the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters has been established and operating since 04.12.2002. The purpose of the European Judicial Network (EJN) is firstly to facilitate judicial cooperation between member states in civil and commercial matters, utilizing modern information and communication technologies and secondly to create a European framework, within which freedom, safety and justice are ensured for the benefit of persons involved in cross-border disputes, with the purpose to facilitate access to justice. The Network shall provide information and informational material to be exchanged by contact persons, while such material shall be gradually available to the public as well. In order to ensure that the network shall become an effective means and shall satisfy the requirements of the public, the former shall incorporate best practices in terms of judicial cooperation and its internal operation.
In order to achieve Network objectives, the Ministry of Justice has appointed nine contact persons, seven of whom are judges of Athens and Thessalonica and the other two are employees of the Department of International Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters at the Central Service.
For more information, please, visit the website
www.europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/ejn/
Hereunder follow tables of conventions, which Greece is a state party in:
A' SERVICE AND COMMUNICATION ABROAD OF JUDICIAL AND EXTRAJUDICIAL DOCUMENTS IN CIVIL OR COMMERCIAL MATTERS
  1. THE HAGUE CONVENTION of 15th NOVEMBER - 1965:
Greece objects to article 10 of the above convention regarding the sending of judicial documents by postal channels and their direct delivery through non-stipendiary bailiffs.
According to article 5, notifications and announcements addressed to Greece shall be accepted only if translated into or written in Greek.
According to article 8, Greece objects to effect service of judicial documents upon a Greek citizen through its diplomatic or consular agents, unless the document is to be served upon a national of the originating State.
According to article 12 all formal service under Article 5(1)(a) from another state to Greece, must be sent to the competent Public Prosecutor at a flat fee.
The cost of service will be €50, starting from August 1st, 2013.
 Payment of fees shall be made by bank transfers payable to the “Hellenic Ministry of Justice, Transparency & Human Rights”, at the following bank account:
Bank of Greece 
Bank Account Number: 23/2341147896
ΙΒΑΝ: GR9101000230000002341147896
Swift Code: BNGRGRAA
All service requests should comply with the described method. However, if unaccompanied by proper payment and bank receipt, they will be returned without processing. 

According to article 15 par. 2, Greece has stated that "judges of the Hellenic Republic may give judgment even if no certificate of service or delivery has been received, if all the conditions following article 15, par. 2, section a, b, c are fulfilled".
  1. REGULATION (EC) No 1393/2007 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 13 November 2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents), and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1348/2000

It is applicable among European Union member states and replaced the Hague Convention for such countries.

All personal service of Art. 4 from another European Member State to Greece must be sent to the competent Public Prosecutor at a flat fee (art. 11).

The cost of service will be €50, starting from August 1st, 2013.

Payment of fees shall be made by bank transfers payable to the “Hellenic Ministry of Justice, Transparency & Human Rights”, at the following bank account:

Bank of Greece 

Bank Account Number: 23/2341147896

ΙΒΑΝ: GR9101000230000002341147896

Swift Code: BNGRGRAA

 

All service requests should comply with the described method. However, if unaccompanied by proper payment and bank receipt, they will be returned without processing.

 
B' PROVISION OF LEGAL AID
1. STRASBOURG AGREEMENT OF 27TH JANUARY 1977 ON THE TRANSMISSION OF LEGAL AID APPLICATIONS (PROVISION OF LEGAL AID)
(L. 1456/ 1984 - OGG A Issue No. 89/84)
STATE PARTIES
ALBANIA
AZERBAIJAN
BULGARIA
DENMARK
SWITZERLAND
NORWAY
SERBIA - MONTENEGRO
F.Y.R.O.M.
TURKEY
ROMANIA
 
 
 
  1. LEGAL AID IN CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL MATTERS FOR CROSS-BORDER DISPUTES BETWEEN E.U. MEMBER STATES EXCLUDING DENMARK.
(L. 3226/2004) - OGG A' 24/04)
C' INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION - RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS IN MATRIMONIAL MATTERS AND IN MATTERS OF PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
  1. THE HAGUE CONVENTION ON CIVIL ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION OF 1980
(L. 2102/ 1992 - OGG A No. 193/92)
STATE PARTIES
ARGENTINA
AUSTRIA
BULGARIA
BELARUS
SERBIA - MONTENEGRO
BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA
BRAZIL
CANADA
CHILE
CHINA (only former MACAU & HONG KONG)
CROATIA
DENMARK
PARAGUAY
THAILAND
F.Y.R.O.M.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
GEORGIA
NICARAGUA
ST. MAURITIUS
MOLDAVIA
ISRAEL
GUATEMALA
SAINT KITTS & NEVIS
TURKMENISTAN
HONDURAS
COSTA RICA
MEXICO
MONACO
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
NEW ZEALAND
NORWAY
PANAMA
PERU
ECUADOR
EL SALVADOR
ROMANIA
UZBEKISTAN
ZIMBABWE
SOUTH AFRICA
COLOMBIA
SRI LANKA
ISLAND
SWITZERLAND
TURKEY
FIJI
U.S.A.
URUGUAY
VENEZUELA
BURKINA FASO
BAHAMAS
BELIZE
UKRAINE 01.09.06
 
 
 
2. EUROPEAN - REGULATION: COUNCIL REGULATION NO. 2201/2003 CONCERNING JURISDICTION AND THE RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS IN MATRIMONIAL MATTERS AND IN MATTERS OF PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR E.U. MEMBER STATES (EXCLUDING DENMARK), REPEALING REGULATION (EC) No. 1347/2000.
The purpose of the Hague International Convention of 1980 and Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 is to secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in any Contracting State and to ensure that rights of custody and access under the law of one Contracting State are effectively respected in other Contracting States.
Useful Information
Wrongful removal and retention of children by one parent or other relative is not a very rare tragedy. When a child is removed crossing international borders, the difficulties for those involved are complicated. The present document aims to assist the parent, who is mostly effected, that is the parent left behind.
The Ministry of Justice believes that international child abduction is a serious and important matter and sets as major priority the provision of aid to parents and the well being of children, who have been internationally abducted.
Prevention
You and your child are more vulnerable if your relationship with your spouse is problematic or if there are close relations with another country, particularly if such country has laws or traditions that can become dangerous for you or for any citizen, who is not a national of such country. Many cases of international child abduction by parents began when the child, upon the approval of both parents, travelled abroad, but subsequently was not allowed to return to the country of his/ her habitual residence.
Some times, even if there are no problems in a marriage, when the foreign parent returns to his/ her country of origin, the latter is likely to decide for him/ her and for the child not to return. This is not a rare phenomenon, since the behaviour of a person may change when he/ she returns to the place, where he/ she grew up.
In some societies, children should have the consent of the father and a woman should have the consent of her husband in order to travel. In particular, if you are a woman, consider the laws and traditions of the country, which you are going to visit or you are going to allow your child to visit and think carefully the impact that return to traditional culture may have on the father.
Preventive steps
  1. Keep a record of addresses and telephone numbers of relatives, friends and partners of the other parent, here and abroad.
  2. Keep a record of important information about the other parent including passport number, driving license number and vehicle number.
  3. Always keep recent photographs of your child.
Such information can be extremely helpful in case of wrongful removal and retention of your child.
You should also be aware that according to Greek Legislation and legislation of many other countries as well, parental responsibility for your child is jointly exercised by both parents.
In case of divorce or separation prospect or even if you have never legally married the other parent, ask your lawyer if you should seek for a custody judgement or even a judgement prohibiting your child to travel abroad without your consent or without court permission.
In case of such judgement, it would be wise for you to inform the school of your child as well.
What can be done by the Ministry of Justice in case of International Abductions:
-          It can help parents file an application to foreign authorities for the return of their child or for the communication with him/her.
-          It can try in cooperation with competent authorities of other countries to detect the child.
-          Provide the applicant parent with any possible information about the country, where the child is kept, and bring the former into contact with a lawyer who shall undertake the case or contact the latter on behalf of the former.
What cannot be done by the Ministry of Justice:
-          It cannot intervene in civil legal disputes between parents.
-          It cannot pay court or other expenses that may be required by the country, where application is addressed to.
-          It cannot act as a lawyer or represent parents in court.
Therefore:
If your former or current spouse, or any other relative or third party, has wrongfully removed or retained your child to or in a foreign country, which applies the Convention or the Regulation, and you wish his/ her return or the communication with him/ her
You can contact our Ministry, which according to the aforementioned Convention shall forward your application and undertake the commencement of judicial or administrative procedures for the prompt return of the child to the State of his/ her habitual residence. Contracting countries can be found in the site of the Ministry of Justice, in the link "International Relations".
The form for such application is also available in the same site, in the link "Application Forms". Application should be filed as soon as possible after the wrongful removal and retention, preferably within one year. Everyone, either Greek or foreign citizens, has the right to file such an application.
However, you should be aware that, although the Hague Convention and the Regulation are very useful legal tools for the return of your abducted child, you are more likely to achieve your goal if you negotiate with the abducting parent. Sometimes, friends and relatives can help you reach a compromise and limit tension and thus achieve the return of your child easier. Compromise and conciliation are often the most realistic and painless solution for all.
3. HAGUE CONVENTION OF 1958 CONCERNING THE RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF DECISIONS RELATING TO MAINTENANCE OBLIGATIONS TOWARDS CHILDREN
(L. 3171/ 2003 - OGG A Issue No. 192/03)
STATE PARTIES
AUSTRIA
BELGIUM
CHINA (only former MACAU & HONG KONG)
CHEZ REPUBLIC
DENMARK
FINLAND
FRANCE
GERMANY
HUNGARY
ITALY
LUXEMBURG
HOLLAND
NORWAY
PORTUGAL
SLOVAKIA
SPAIN
SURINAME
SWEDEN
SWITZERLAND
TURKEY
LICHTENSTEIN
 
D' THE TAKING OF EVIDENCE
1. EUROPEAN - REGULATION: COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No. 1206/2001 ON COOPERATION BETWEEN THE COURTS OF THE MEMBER STATES (EXCLUDING DENMARK) IN THE TAKING OF EVIDENCE IN CIVIL OR COMMERCIAL MATTERS
2. THE HAGUE CONVENTION OF 1970 ON THE TAKING OF EVIDENCE ABROAD IN CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL MATTERS
(L. 3287/ 2004 - OGG A' No. 224/04)
STATE PARTIES:
ARGENTINA
AUSTRIA
BELARUS
BULGARIA
CHINA (including former MACAU & HONG KONG)
SWEDEN
DENMARK
SOUTH AFRICA
TURKEY
ISRAEL
ROMANIA
MEXICO
MONACO
NORWAY
SRI LANKA
RUSSIA
UKRAINE
U.S.A.
VENEZUELA
BARBADOS
KUWAIT
SEYCHELLES
SINGAPORE
 
E' MULTILATERAL CONVENTIONS ON PROVISION OF JUDICIAL AID IN CIVIL MATTERS
  1. NEW YORK CONVENTION OF 1956 ON THE RECOVERY ABROAD OF MAINTENANCE (L.D. 4421/1964 - OGG A' Issue No. 215/64)
The New York Convention of 1956 on the recovery abroad of maintenance has been ratified in Greece with the Legislative Decree 4421/1964 - OGG 215/A/1964.
The purpose of this Convention is to recover maintenance in case the obligor and the obligee reside in different countries. The establishment of two Central Authorities is provided:
A)    The Ministry of Justice is appointed to be the Central Authority for request reception in Greece and b) the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is appointed to be the authority competent for the forwarding of respective requests abroad.
If you require to recover maintenance abroad
You can address your request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in particular, to Directorate E3, 1 Zalokosta Str., telephone 210 3683300, 210 3683134.
2.      EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF DECISIONS CONCERNING CUSTODY OF CHILDREN AND ON RESTORATION OF CUSTODY OF CHILDREN (LUXEMBURG, 1980)
(L. 2104/ 1992 - OGG A' No. 195/192)
STATE PARTIES:
BULGARIA
DENMARK
SWITZERLAND
NORWAY
ISLAND
ROMANIA
SERBIA & MONTENEGRO
TURKEY
LICHTENSTEIN
MOLDAVIA
F.Y.R.O.M.
 
 
 
 
3.      CONVENTION BETWEEN THE MEMBERS STATES OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES ON THE SIMPLIFICATION OF PROCEDURES FOR THE RECOVERY OF MAINTENANCE PAYMENTS
(L. 2750/ 1999 - OGG A' No. 243/99)
F' BILATERAL CONVENTIONS ON PROVISION OF JUDICIAL COOPERATION IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL MATTERS
  1. AUSTRIA: L.D. 137/1969 - OGG A' No. 45/69
  2. ARMENIA: L. 3007/2002 - OGG A' No. 85/02
  3. ALBANIA: L. 2311/1995 - OGG A' No. 119/95
  4. BULGARIA: L. 841/1978 - OGG A' No. 228/78
  5. GEORGIA: L. 28192000 - OGG A' No. 68/00
  6. YUGOSLAVIA: L.D. 4009/59 - OGG A' No. 238/1959 which is also valid for the states established after its dissolution:
SERBIA & MONTENEGRO - CROATIA - SLOVENIA - FYROM (SKOPJE) - BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
  1. GERMANY: L. 1432/38 - OGG A' No. 399/38
  2. SWITZERLAND: L. 719/1937 - OGG A' No. 266/37
  3. CYPRUS: L. 1548/85 - OGG A' No. 95/85
  4. LEBANON: L. 1099/80 - OGG A' No.285/80
  5. PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: L. 2358/1995 - OGG A' No.239/95
  6. UKRAINE: L. 3281/2004 - OGG A' No. 204/04 (NOT SET INTO FORCE UNTIL 06/06)
  7. POLAND: L. 1184/1981 - OGG A' No. 198/91
  8. FORMER CCCP: L. 1242/1982 - OGG A' Issue No. 44/82
  9. This convention applies by the members of former CCCP, which became independent states after its dissolution (excluding GEORGIA and ARMENIA)
  10. SYRIA: L. 1450/1984 - OGG A' No.87/84
  11. CZECHOSLOVAKIA: L. 1323/1983 - OGG A' No. 8/83 This convention applies by the states established after its dissolution - CZECH REPUBLIC and SLOVAKIA.
  12. TUNISIA: L. 2228/1994 - OGG A' No. 130/94
  13. HUNGARY: L. 1149/1981 - OGG A' No. 117/1981
The above conventions, excluding the conventions entered into with Switzerland and Austria include also provisions on recognition and enforcement of judicial decisions on civil and commercial matters.
G' BILATERAL CONVENTIONS ON RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGEMENTS EXCLUSIVELY
  1. YUGOSLAVIA:
(L.D. 4007/1959 - OGG A' No. 236/59)
 

 

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