When a legal dispute implies individuals who are located in more than one state, that particular case is treated as an international one and it is not mandatory for the Greek law to apply. In this case, it is important to determine the law that will be applied according to private international law.
The recognition of a European Court decision in Greece is possible in those cases that have an international element and the Court of Justice of the European Union can play a substantial role in the outcome of the case.
Debt collection in Greece is possible through a European order under the provisions of the EU regulations for collecting debt and the debt litigation proceedings. Individuals who are dealing with international debt collection cases in Greece are advised to seek professional legal aid, like that provided by our team of experts.
Table of Contents
National laws and international conventions
Greek laws will apply in debt collection cases, however, when the situation is one in which one or more of the involved parties are based in the EU, then the recognition of a European Court decision can become applicable, as it is a formal source of law.
Greece is part of a number of multilateral international conventions. The Geneva Convention, as well as the Hague Convention, are just some of these. The Greek judge assigned to the case will be the one to decide which foreign law applies as well as the one who will direct the implementation of a foreign court decision. In general, the Code of Civil Procedure is the one guiding the preconditions to execute a foreign judgment in the country.
Some of the requirements for a foreign title to be considered enforceable in Greece are the following:
- valid existing title: this must be issued by a foreign state, in this case it can be a EU court judgment.
- executable title: the title must still be executable when the request for its execution is made in Greece.
- non-opposable: the title must not oppose the public order in Greece nor must it violate the Greek society’s morality and customs.
- jurisdiction: the issuing court must have jurisdiction on that certain matter and it must not oppose the judgment of a Greek court on the same matter.
One of our debt collection lawyers in Greece can give EU entrepreneurs more details about the manner in which an EU court decision can apply in the country.
Applicable laws in particular cases
There are certain circumstances where the parties may choose the governing law, such as in legal acts or agreements. Below, our team summarizes some of the main situations that may arise when a choice will be made between Greek law and other foreign laws.
- legal acts: in most of these cases the law chosen by the signatory parties will apply.
- non-contractual obligations: in general, the rule that will apply will be the one belonging to the state in which the wrong was committed.
- wills: in this case, the will of the state in which the deceased concluded this document will apply or where he was a national when he dies.
- real property: the applicable law, in this case, is that of the state in which the property is located.
- marriage: in general, it is the law of the country in which the spouses are nationals; this situation does not apply in case of maintenance.
- insolvency: the law of the state in which the insolvency proceedings were commenced will apply.
Individuals who have obtained a judgment are able to use that judgment in every EU country and it may be refused only in some exceptional cases. For enforcing a judgment, the party can request its enforcement from the enforcement authorities in the country where the debtor has assets. The debtor can appeal the decision in certain cases, such as in the situation in which the judgment contravenes the public policy in the EU country where the enforcement is to be made.
When enforcing a judgment, it is important to serve the document to the debtor and inform him of the reasons for the claim as well as the amount. In cross-border cases, it is important to have the judgment certified as a European enforcement order. After this is obtained, the judgment is to be enforced under the rules of the EU country where the debtor has its assets/the concerned EU country.
The Brussels I Regulation commonly governs Cross-border court decision and enforcement. One of our agents who specialize in debt collection in Greece can provide interested individuals with more information about the applicability of the relevant EU rules and regulations. Contact us for more detailed information and for adequate assistance in your case.