Right in protection from the law. Rights in a fair trial.
Why is it useful in your everyday life?
If you are accused of a crime, you will be judged following a fair, unbiased and effective procedure. In Greece, every person is innocent unless their guilt is proven in court.
In case you are arrested you must call for a lawyer. As a detainee, you have rights and you must be informed from a lawyer immediately. Your lawyer will tell you which are the next steps, and what you can or cannot do based on the charges.
Often, many people are afraid to go to court and claim their rights, believing that they will not be heard or find justice. Migrants and refugees are afraid that something like that might have consequences on their process to obtain valid legal documents.
Problems you may face
- I have been arrested but I don’t have money to pay a lawyer, what can I do?
Every person has the right to free legal aid. In some cases, if you can’t pay for a lawyer, the state will find you one who is obliged to inform you on your rights and defend you in court. In addition, there are organizations you can call on and ask for legal aid.
- There are no interpreters in my language in the court, how will I communicate and defend myself?
You deserve to ask from the court to find an interpreter in a language that you understand and can communicate. The court is obliged to find interpretation so you can understand everything discussed in the court room on your case. The lawyer will help communicate your request to the court.
- Months have passed by and still I am waiting for the decision from the court, what can I do?
Unfortunately, courts delay issuing decisions and often it may take years. In consultation with your lawyer, you should monitor process and, in some cases, you can ask to expedite the procedure. But, still, you have to be patient.
Possible solutions and answers
- File a report to Greek Ombudsman that can mediate in cases of personal rights. Ombudsman does not impose penalties and its decisions are only advisory.
- In case you think that your rights were violated in Greece, you may submit an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Consult a lawyer.