Two recent, shocking cases of heinous crimes in our country highlighted the importance of the justice system combining quick reflexes and high quality adjudication in meting out justice.

The murder cases of 20-year-old Caroline Crouch (a femicide perpetrated by her husband) and of 21-year-old university student Eleni Topaloudi (who was raped and murdered by two men on the island of Rhodes) are different.

Yet, they demonstrate that it is possible to adjudicate cases swiftly, without the frequent, outrageous delays that occur in all too many instances.

The meting out of justice - which entails a nexus of procedures that in their entirety reflect democracy’s laws and rules and the limits of penalties and actions – cannot be held hostage to interruptions, postponements, and delays.

That is not only harmful, obviously, for the families of victims. It also harms the prestige of the judiciary and the level of trust in it that citizens should have.

There has been some progress, as we saw in the Caroline Crouch case.

Clearly and happily, the Supreme Court Prosecutors Office (photo: Supreme Court Prosecutor Vasilis Pliotas) has expressed its strong resolve and has issued encyclicals to Prosecutors’ Offices nationwide instructing them to take steps to eradicate procrastination in adjudicating cases.

Certainly, the state also has a role to play and it, too, must act quickly. It must remedy staffing and technical infrastructure problems.

One must not forget that in the past huge delays in delivering rulings has put Greece on trial in the European Court.

Let it not happen again.

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