Christiana Stilianidou
Allegations of an attempt to interfere with the justice system
12 • 04 • 2023

Following the filing (and subsequent passage) of an amendment amending the composition of the Supreme Court’s First Chamber in cases where the latter rules on the existence of the conditions for the formation of combinations for participation in parliamentary elections, the then President of that Chamber, Mr. Tzanerikos, made allegations of an attempt by government agents to interfere in the operation of the justice system. Following his resignation from the judiciary, he claimed that he was asked to assist in the blocking of a particular political party with the promise of future career advancement.

On 7-4-2023, amendment 1700/166/7-4-2023 from the Ministry of Interior was submitted, and passed a few days later as article 35 of Law No. 5043/2023.

This article provided that the existence of conditions for the formation of combinations for participation in parliamentary elections shall be decided by the A1 Chamber of the Supreme Court, whose composition shall include the President of the Supreme Court and all its members (the previous wording specified the A1 Chamber of the Supreme Court, provided for by the Decree in its previous form).

On 10-4-2023 Mr. Tzanerikos submitted his resignation from the judiciary for reasons of professional conscience, according to an article by

On the same day, two articles (see 1, 2) were published in, stating that on 31-3-2023 a meeting had taken place between  Mr. Tzanerikos and the president of the press service, Minister of State, G. Gerapetritis.

Two days later Mr. Tzanerikos made a statement (1, 2, 3) claiming that government officials had asked him to help to exclude a political party from the elections, in exchange for future career advancement.

Members of the government confirm that meetings took place between the government and Mr. Tzanerikos, but that no interference of any kind occurred or was attempted (see  1, 2, 3, 4). 

Where is the problem with the rule of law?

The separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary are essential elements of the rule of law.

Any interference (or attempted interference) by the executive in the work of the judiciary and actions that call into question the personal and functional independence of judicial officials are phenomena that cannot be accepted in the context of a democratic state and are not compatible with the principles of the rule of law.

The claims made by Mr. Tzanerikos, President of the A1 division of the Supreme Court, that government agents asked him to help them to exclude a certain party from the elections in exchange for future career advancement, can only give rise to serious concerns, since if true, they constitute (inter alia) a direct violation of the principle of the separation of powers

Christiana Stilianidou
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