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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 14 November 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2015 23 OPINION OPINION CHRISTOS ILIOPOULOS Validating a foreign court decision in Greece In our times individuals and families are involved with more than one country more than ever. Travelling is easier and usually less expensive than before. Apart from the immigration waves of the past decades, which created large communities of expatriates living in a foreign country, today relocation from one country to another, due to professional, financial or even political reasons, are the result of globalisation, which makes the world an interconnected community. Such developments have created the need for increasingly more people to validate a court decision issued in one country, in the legal order of another. Greeks living in LETTERS Renovation roulette When I became Australia's first Asbestos Awareness Ambassador I pledged my full support to this vital campaign to increase awareness of how dangerous asbestos can be to homeowners, tradespeople and families when renovating, maintaining or demolishing homes or other structures. Asbestos can be found in brick, weatherboard, clad and fibro homes behind wall and floor tiles, under floor coverings including carpets, and in walls, ceilings, roofs, gutters and even dog kennels. It could be anywhere. Sadly, current research tells us that people are unknowingly exposing themselves and their families to dangerous asbestos fibres during home renovations, with TV renovating programs fuelling the popularity of DIY. During national Asbestos Awareness Month (November), together with my fellow ambassadors Cherie Barber, Scott Cam, Barry Du Bois, John Jarratt and Scott McGregor, we hope to help save the lives of people like Mrs Carol Klintfält OAM, who tragically lost her battle with malignant mesothelioma on 7 November 2014. I had the great honour of knowing Carol through our work in raising awareness of the very real and present danger of asbestos to homeowners and the tragic consequences of renovating without knowing the risks of dis- turbing asbestos products, which can be fatal. This heart-breaking consequence was Carol's reality. Carol developed mesothelioma because she inhaled asbestos fibres when working with an architect and while handling fibro sheets when renovating the family home in the 1970s. Mesothelioma is a cancer that usually develops between 20-50 years after inhaling asbestos fibres. There is no cure and the average survival time after diagnosis is only 10-12 months - hard hitting statistics none of us can ignore. An extraordinary woman, Carol was more than a statistic. When she lost her battle with asbestos-related disease, her family lost a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a sister and many lost a very dear and special friend. This family were no different to the thousands of homeowners throughout Australia. When they renovated their home, they didn't know the dangers or that the impact of working with asbestos would be devastating. One in every three homes built or renovated before 1987 will contain asbestos products. All Australians need to 'Get to kNOw asbestos this NOvember' and visit www.asbestosawareness.com.au to learn the dangers of asbestos and how to manage it safely, because it's not worth the risk. Sincerely, Don Burke OAM Asbestos Awareness Ambassador Byzantine captivity Michael Todd's response (in the Saturday 7 November issue of Neos Kosmos) to my article raises many important philosophical and theological issues. But this is not the place to address these. In a lengthier and more scholarly article to be published on the ABC Religion and Ethics website, I will go into more detail about the defects and dangers of Orthodoxy and religious affiliation in general. In the meantime I only wish to observe that it is customary, though disappointing, for converts to the Orthodox Church to outdo the Orthodox in their presumed 'orthodoxy'. This kind of 'super-orthodoxy' only entrenches the church in a siege mentality ("it's us against them") other countries very often have to enforce or simply register in Greece a foreign court decision, ruling or order. The areas of law where this happens more often is family law (divorce, child custody and visitation rulings), as well as business law, where one party who obtained a favourable court ruling seeks to collect from the adversary by implementing that foreign ruling in Greece, where the adversary appears to have assets. Once such a court decision or ruling is issued by the competent court or tribunal of the foreign country, the decision can be incorporated into the Greek legal order, in such a way that it will have legal validity and recognition in Greece as if it was issued by a Greek court. The foreign decision must be absolute or final. This means that the time limits for filing an appeal, or petition for review, or any other type of challenge of the decision of the court of first instance, must have expired, or the decision must have been issued by a court of appeals. In other words, the decision must not be subject to legal review or challenge and/or must be directly applicable in the country where it was issued. The Greek court will require written proof that the decision issued by the foreign court is final or absolute. Such proof could be a mention in the body of the decision itself, that it is final, or absolute, or that the time limits for appeal or review or challenge have expired and that no appeal or challenge has been filed against it, or any text of similar meaning. However, proof that the decision is final or absolute could also be provided in the form of a separate letter or certificate, issued by the court which issued the decision in question, signed either by a judge or a secretary of that court. If the proof that the decision is final is provided with a separate document, this document must also have the Apostille stamp, just like the main court decision. This final or absolute court decision must be filed before the Greek court officially certified as an original or true copy of the decision, with the stamp of Apostille, (Convention of the Hague of 5 Oct. 1961), if the foreign country is a member of that Convention, otherwise the decision must be certified by the local Consulate of Greece. The main substantial requirement for the foreign court decision to be recognised as valid in Greece is that the procedure under which the decision was issued, as well as its content, do not violate the basic rules of the Greek public order, regarding the safeguarding of the rights of both parties for a just hearing (audio alteram partem etc.), that the rule of law is observed, that the fundamental human rights have been protected and that the basic rules of the Greek legal order (jus cogens) have not been violated. Also, the foreign court decision must be as detailed as possible. A simple court certificate describing the main aspects of the case and its outcome normally will not be accepted as a proper court decision. The original/certified foreign ruling must have the form of a detailed court decision, stating the court, the parties, the procedure, the facts, the considerations and justifications of the court and finally, what the court orders. Once the foreign ruling is recognised by the Greek court, any certified copy of it will be considered as an official court decision, which can be enforced according to the rules of the Greek legal order. *Christos Iliopoulos is an attorney at the Supreme Court of Greece, LL.M. Email your letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org and a defensive attitude of fear and hostility towards criticism, thus robbing the church of invaluable opportunities to reform and revitalise itself. Every time the Anglican Church ordains a woman priest or questions some aspect of scripture or tradition, there are more defections to the Orthodox Church. This unfortunately is the product of what some have rightly called the "Byzantine captivity" of the Orthodox Church - a yearning for the thoughtworld and structures of the Byzantine past, while rejecting the modern values of intellectual humility, creativity and openness. I'll end with a quotation from a contemporary Greek Orthodox theologian, Pantelis Kalaitzides (director of the Volos Academy of Theological Studies): "If the Or- Have Your Say LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Do you think the extreme weather conditions we are experiencing are due to climate change? 67% YES 33% NO THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Statistics show one in four 16-17-year-old Australians have used drugs. Are narcotics becoming desensitised among youth? Yes/No Vote online now. 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By submitting your letter to us for publication you agree that we may edit the letter for legal, space or other reasons and may, after the publication in the paper, republish it on the internet or in other media. Editor-in-chief: Sotiris Hatzimanolis Journalists: Christopher Gogos Nelly Skoufatoglou, Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Nikos Fotakis, John Pyrros, Panos Apostolou, George Stogiannou Contributors: Dean Kalimniou, Dr Arthur Kokkinias, Stephanie Jacobs, Peter Adamis Sub-editor: Angela Costanzo Graphic design: Peter Kelidis thodox Church insists on renouncing all change and reform, often in the name of preserving its unity and stability, then that church may one day come crashing to the ground." N.N. Trakakis Melbourne Accept refugees The world community, through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), must impose on the UK to accept not only the refugees arriving in their military bases in Cyprus, but, as partners of the Americans in the illegal destabilising wars all over the Middle East, North Africa and other regions, they must accept a few of the millions of refugees who became victims of the illegal wars. It is unfair and unjust to saddle Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Serbia and others who are not engaged in any illegal wars with the tens of thousands of refugees daily while the perpetrators of this monstrous crime evade responsibility. Every nation that participated and keeps participating in bombarding and creating refugees anywhere in the world must take full responsibility and take care of every refugee they create. Ilias Sourdis Manila Please note that the submission of a letter does not guarantee that it will be published. 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7 November 2015