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Ministry of Justice, Transparency
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CURRICULUM VITAE

CHARALAMPOS ATHANASSIOU
 
MINISTER OF JUSTICE TRANSPARENCY AND HUMAN RIGHTS
 

Charalampos Athanassiou was born and raised in Lesvos, Agia Paraskevi. He is married to Marianthe Komnenaka and is the father of two children, Eleni, Lawyer of Athens, and Christos, Mechanic Engineer. He attended primary education in Agia Paraskevi and secondary education in Mytilene. He studied Law under a stipendium having excelled at the examinations and obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1971. He practiced law for a period of two years, while also fulfilling his military duty. He entered the judges’ corps in 1975 after successfully competing in the relevant examinations and served as an Assistant Judge and later on as a Judge at Athens First Instance Court. In 1992 he was promoted to President of District Court Judges. In 1993 he was chosen as Head Judge of Athens Magistrate’s Court unanimously by the Supreme Judicial Council. In 1996-1998 he was elected Head of Athens First Instance Court. In 1996 he was promoted to a Judge of the Appeal Court and in 2008 to a Member of the Supreme Court.
He was constantly elected as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Union of Judges and Prosecutors, serving as Secretary General (1994-1996, 1998-2008) and as President of the Union (2008-2012). As Head of Athens First Instance Court and as a Secretary General and President of the Union of Judges and Prosecutors he has submitted numerous proposals, which were accepted by the Ministry of Justice, thereby gaining the status of Greek laws. These proposals aimed at improving the working conditions of the judges and reducing delays in judicial procedures. Through his public interventions he was successful in reinstating the credibility of the Greek judicial system which was severely damaged by the existence of the so-called ‘parallel network’. He submitted many proposals concerning the improvement of the penitentiary system of Greece. As Head of Athens First Instance Court he was successful in reorganizing the administrative structure, a move acknowledged by lawyers’ associations. He was a member of numerous legislative commissions of the Ministry of Justice and is credited with having inspired the new Highway Code. He has published articles in various law journals, as ‘Greek justice’, ‘Armenopoulos’ and took part in many conventions.
As President of the Union of Judges and Prosecutors he strove to emphasize the social sensitivity of judges and defended constitutional order and the rights of the Greek citizens. His presence in Belgrade during the Yugoslavian Civil War heading a group of representatives of Greek judicial system is noteworthy, as he found himself in a city under bombardment, expressing his solidarity to the Serbian judges and the Serbian people. He was duly honored in all elections by his colleagues gaining a 70% preference vote and was successful in maintaining the political independence and integrity of the Union of Judges and Prosecutors. His main objectives as President were reducing delays in judicial procedures, revision of the Greek Constitution in order to reinforce the independence of the judicial body and reduce its ties to the executive branch, as well as the creation of a legislative framework suitable for advancing foreign investments in Greece. He was highly critical of the law concerning ministers’ responsibility, so as to assure that nobody could go unpunished if he committed a crime.
As President of the Union of Judges and Prosecutors he contributed to the establishment of the Mytilene Appeal Court in Lesvos. He donated one of his family estates to the Town of Mytilene, thereby providing the possibility for building the Elderly Care Foundation (Zachareion Foundation) in Agia Paraskevi, Lesvos, in which he serves as Vice President. He is a member of the three-member Building Committee of Athens Cultural Center, which shall be dedicated to the memory of Miltos Paraskevaidis, a writer and painter from Lesvos. He is a member of the Federation of Lesvos Unions and a founding member of the Progressive Union of Agia Paraskevi, Lesvos. Recently he participated along with the Bishop of Mytilene in founding the humanitarian union ‘Friends of Mytilene Bishopric’.
He was head of the New Democracy list of candidates for State Deputies and was elected a MEP at the May 2012 and June 2012 elections. He was appointed Alternate Minister of Interior on June 21 2012. On June 25 2013 after the cabinet reshuffle he was appointed Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights.   

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