Greece: Foreign Law in the Greek Private International Law: Positive Solutions and Future Perspectives
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In Greek Private International Law conflict of laws rules are of obligatory nature and foreign law is considered as jus to be applied ex officio, as provided for in Article 337 of the Code of Civil Procedure as well as in Article 144 (4) of the Code of Administrative Procedure. It is also admitted that the courts and other authorities, may use any means which is considered appropriate for acquiring knowledge of foreign law, usually a written information provided by the Hellenic Institute of International and Foreign Law. The application of both the conflict of laws rules and foreign law is subjected to the review of the higher courts. The solution prevailing regarding proceedings where the applicable foreign law could not be proved, is the application of the lex fori.
The improvement of the access to foreign law is of great importance for the international harmony pursued by conflict of laws system. The best way to make some progress in this direction is the use of new technologies and the international cooperation on the exchange of information about national laws. To the contrary modifying the status of foreign law in the sense that its applicability must depend exclusively on the parties’ decision would be in principle a serious threat to the legal system’s unity and the equality of parties. More useful is the unification of rules relative to the treatment of foreign law as a way to ensure the international harmony in the sphere of Private International Law.