Dawn by Law: The Legal and Political Importance of October 7 Ruling

Bourne, A. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution


Legal action against political parties and politicians is far from rare; from Israel to Spain, democracies have used constitutional tools to confront parties and politicians perceived as a threat to their norms and values. What is rare, however, is to see such proceedings shaping, if not monopolizing, the political debate. This is exactly what happened with the October 7 ruling of the Court of Appeal in Athens, which after a trial that lasted more than five years found the neo-nazi Golden Dawn and its leadership guilty for running a crime gang. A party that for almost a decade was present in parliament having secured seven percent of the vote, would now be dissolved, with its prominent members facing prison sentences. We discuss the political and legal implications of this decision. Will this court’s verdict elevate trust in political institutions, which had plummeted during the crisis? Does this decision set a precedent for other cases outside Greece? We try to shed light to these questions, aided by a panel of political and legal experts on the thorny issue of banning political parties.

Elias Dinas

• Angela Burne, Professor at the Institute for Society and Globalisation at Roskilde University, Denmark
• Dimitris Christopoulos, Professor of Comparative Politics at Panteion University and Honorary President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Greece
• Daphne Karagianni, Lawyer and Member of Golden Dawn Watch
• Lamprini Rori, Jean Monnet fellow, RSCAS, EUI, Italy
• Joost van Spanje, Professor of Politics at the University of London, UK
Period26 Oct 2020
Held atEuropean University Institute, Italy
Degree of RecognitionInternational