Who Established the Public Court System in Ancient Greece?

The public court system in Ancient Greece was established by none other than the Athenians. The Athenian legal system was one of the most advanced legal systems of its time and laid the foundation for modern judicial systems.

Athenian Legal System

The Athenians believed in the rule of law and developed a legal system that aimed to provide justice to all citizens regardless of their social status. The legal system consisted of two main branches: civil and criminal law.

Civil Law

Civil law dealt with private matters such as property disputes, inheritance claims, and divorces. The Athenian courts had a reputation for being fair in their judgments, and citizens could appeal to higher courts if they disagreed with a verdict.

Criminal Law

Criminal law dealt with public offenses such as theft, assault, and murder. The accused were given a fair trial and could defend themselves against the charges brought against them. If found guilty, the punishment could range from fines to death.

The Courts

The Athenian courts were open to all male citizens over the age of 30 who had completed military training. The courts were held in public spaces such as the Pnyx Hill or the Agora, where anyone could attend and observe the proceedings.


Juries consisted of randomly selected citizens who would listen to both sides of an argument before making a decision. Juries were typically made up of 201 to 501 members, depending on the severity of the crime.


In conclusion, it was the Athenians who established the public court system in Ancient Greece. Their legal system was advanced for its time and aimed to provide justice to all citizens regardless of their social status. The Athenian courts set a standard for judicial systems that has been emulated throughout history.