On July 20 2016 regional appellate courts were established and a new three-tier court system started to be applied for first-instance judgments. Under the three-tier system, first-instance judgments can be appealed before the regional appellate courts where compliance with laws, as well as merits of the case, are examined and – if necessary – a second trial is conducted. In principle, regional appellate court decisions can be appealed before the Court of Cassation.
Due to the need for the existing procedural rules and organisational structure to be harmonised with the newly established three-tier system, amendments have been made to the Code of Civil Procedure (6100/2011) under Law 7035 with the purpose of eliminating emergent problems in the functioning of regional appellate and administrative courts. The amendment law was published in the Official Gazette and entered into force on August 5 2017.
The purpose of the amendment law is to provide efficiency and consistency in the appeal process. With this in mind, seven provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure have been amended. The most remarkable amendment regards the period for appeal before the Court of Cassation.
Previously, parties could appeal:
- first-instance decisions before the regional appellate court within two weeks of notification of the decision; and
- regional appellate court decisions before the Court of Cassation within one month.
Under the amendment law, the period for appeal before the Court of Cassation has been reduced from one month to two weeks. The two-week period will apply to decisions rendered by the regional appellate courts from the date on which the law entered into force. The legislature explained that the two-week period is intended to establish consistency between the appeal periods before both the regional appellate courts and the Court of Cassation.