Greece’s Bar associations on Thursday evening decided, in a majority vote, to continue their abstention of legal proceedings in the country, at least until Jan. 19.

The lawyers’ associations are opposed to portions of a forthcoming draft bill envisioning revisions in the penal and civil law codes, replacement of three-justice first instance courts with single-justice tribunals in many instances, as well as pending tax code changes for self-employed professions, including attorneys.

An exception will be made in court proceedings involving legal aid, as well as in the process to confirm results of local government and association elections.

The development will further strain the already voluminous backlog of both criminal and civil trials in the country, with the specter of acquittals and dismissals due to an expiration of the statute of limitations now menacing.

Speaking at the plenum of Bar associations earlier, Justice Minister Giorgos Floridis detailed the revisions that the government wants to push through, including which legal procedures will now come under the domain of licensed attorneys, rather than notary publics.

He said the draft bill will come up for public discussion at the end of this month.