Despite the reactions of t he opposition, one cannot deny that yesterday’s appointments of the new Chief Justice and Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court (Areios Pagos) was based on a sense of institutional responsibility.
For the first time in many years these crucial appointments were based on seniority.
That alone demonstrates that it is a key aim of the government to shield the judiciary from comments and innuendo that undermine its prestige and provide room for disputing its independence.
It also signals the government’s intention to allow the judiciary to carry out its work unhindered without the shadows of governmental intervention.
All this was not self-evident over the last four years.
One need only remember the announcements of the Association of Judges and Prosecutors which denounced the stance of the government and the open attacks by government members against the judiciary.
The judiciary at the time successfully fended off the public attacks but also behind-the-scenes pressures.
It defended its institutional role which is defined in the Constitution.
The judiciary, however, cannot perpetually operate in an environment of attacks and pressures.
To fulfil its role it needs the support of the other branches of government.
It requires a calm environment and that will be ensured by the new Chief Justice and Chief Prosecutor.