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Fundamental rights - Greece

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National Courts

The Ombudsperson

Specialised Human Rights Bodies

National Courts

There is no special competent court in Greece before which to seek redress in the event of an alleged violation of fundamental rights. Depending on the nature of the violating offence or act, redress may be sought before national civil, criminal or administrative courts.

Whether or not a fundamental right has been violated is determined on the basis of national substantive law. The procedure to be followed before the competent (civil, criminal or administrative) court is provided for in national procedural (civil, criminal or administrative) law.

The relevant procedure leads to a judgement, which either rejects the claim or, if final, is directly enforceable.

Link opens in new windowCivil and criminal courts

Link opens in new windowAdministrative courts

Specialised human rights bodies

The National Committee for Human Rights

Neofitou Vamva 6
10674 Athens, Greece

The National Committee for Human Rights (NCHR) was recently set up under the Paris Principles as a body providing advice to the government on matters of human rights. It comprises members designated by thirty-two bodies (independent authorities, university faculties of law and sciences, trade unions, NGOs, political parties and ministries).

The aim of the NCHS is to provide constant guidance to all government bodies on the need to uphold the human rights of all persons residing on Greek territory.

According to the law establishing the NCHR (Law No 2667/1998 as amended and currently in force), the NCHR is responsible for the following material tasks:

(a) examining human rights questions raised by the government or the Conference of Speakers of Parliament or proposed by its members or NGOs;

(b) submitting recommendations and proposals, preparing studies, and submitting reports and opinions for legislative, administrative or other action promoting human rights;

(c) developing initiatives to raise public and media awareness of human rights issues;

(d) taking initiatives to foster respect for human rights in the educational system;

(e) maintaining constant contact and cooperation with international organisations, comparable bodies in other countries, and national and international NGOs;

(f) providing opinions on national reports to be submitted to international organisations on human rights issues;

(g) publicising NCHR positions by every means available;

(h) preparing an annual human rights report;

(i) organising a Human Rights Documentation Centre; and

(j) examining the compatibility of Greek and international human rights law and providing relevant opinions to competent government bodies.

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)

There are many NGOs which may be contacted for assistance in the event of a fundamental rights violation. The Competent Authority for NGOs is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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The Ombudsperson

The Ombudsperson is an independent authority anchored in the Constitution. The institution of the Ombudsperson was established under Law No 2477/97 and has been in effect since 1 October 1998. The legislative framework for its operation is governed by Law No 3094/03. The Ombudsperson’s services are free of charge

The Ombudsperson examines individual administrative acts or cases of failure to act or action by public service bodies in violation of the rights or legitimate interests of natural or legal persons.

Any citizen applying to the Ombudsperson must have first contacted the public service involved in the case. Only if such contact has failed to resolve the problem may the citizen apply to the Ombudsperson.

The Ombudsperson’s mission is to mediate between citizens and public services in order to protect civil rights, combat maladministration and uphold the rule of law.

As a mediator, the Ombudsperson gives advice and recommendations to public administrative authorities. The Ombudsperson does not impose sanctions or annul illegal administrative acts.

Hadziyanni Mexi 5
11528 Athens, Greece

Specialised Human Rights Bodies

  • Ombudsperson for rights of the child

The Ombudsperson (see above) also examines actions or cases of failure to act by public administrative authorities and private individuals in violation of children’s rights.

In order to protect children’s rights, the Ombudsperson is also responsible for acts by to private individuals, legal or natural persons in violation of children’s rights.

  • Bodies promoting the principle of equality

I. Law No 3304/2005 transposing Directives 2000/43/EC of the Council of 29 June 2000 and 2000/78/EC of the Council of 27 November 2000 assigns official responsibility for promoting the principle of equality to the Ombudsperson, the Equality Body and the Labour Inspection Corps (SEPE), defining their tasks accordingly.

More specifically:

  1. The Ombudsperson is responsible for upholding the principle of equality where this principle has been violated by public administrative authorities. The term ‘public administrative authorities’ refers here to authorities mentioned in Article 3(1) of Law No 3094/2003 (Government Gazette, Series I, No 10), ‘Ombudsperson and other provisions’.
  2. The Equality Body is responsible for upholding the principle of equality where this principle has been violated by natural or legal persons other than those mentioned above, with the exception of matters relating to employment and labour.
  3. In matters relating to employment and labour, the Labour Inspection Corps (SEPE) is responsible for upholding the principle of equality where this principle has been violated by natural or legal persons other than those mentioned in paragraph 1.

ΙΙ. Law No 3896/2010 (Government Gazette, Series I, No 207, 8.12.2010) on Implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation – Harmonisation of current legislation with Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 and other relevant provisions introduces an absolute ban on all forms of direct or indirect gender discrimination.

The purpose of the Law is to ensure implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation as regards: a) access to employment, including promotion, and to vocational training; (b) working conditions, including pay; and (c) occupational social security schemes, as provided for in Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.

The Ombudsperson is responsible for monitoring and promoting implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women within the scope of the above Law (Article 25 of Law No 3896/2010).

  • Data Protection Body

The Data Protection Body is an independent authority established under Law No 2472/1997 transposing Directive 95/46/EC.

The Data Protection Body is responsible for upholding and enforcing the right to privacy in Greece, as provided for in Laws No 2472/1997 and 3471/2006.

The chief aim of the Data Protection Body is to protect citizens from illicit processing of personal data and to assist them whenever their privacy has been violated in any way.

The Data Protection Body also aims to provide support and guidance to data processors in discharging their legal obligations, in view of modern service needs in Greece and the penetration of new digital communications and networks.

Κifissias 1-3
11523 Athens, Greece

Administrative examinations

The Data Protection Body, acting ex officio or following a complaint, conducts administrative examinations of data stored in both the public and the private sector. These examinations are performed by officials from the Department of Auditors, who are assisted in major cases by members of the Data Protection Body. Controllers, as special investigators, have access to all records and are not subject to any restrictions of confidentiality.

Examinations involve checking whether bodies examined comply with the requirements of Laws No 2472/97 and 3471/2006 (regarding notification, information, other obligations as applicable and evidence). This is following by an examination of the IT system, including the basic characteristics of the system, the nature of the data and the level of security ensured by the organisational and technical data protection measures taken by the data processor, as provided for in Articles 6 and 10 of Law No 2472/1997. The conclusions of the examination are presented in a report, which is submitted to the Data Protection Body.

The Data Protection Body also carries out an independent review of the national section of the Schengen Information System, pursuant to Article 114(1) of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement (Law No 2514/1997, Government Gazette, Series I, No 140); acts as national supervisory authority as laid down in Article 23 of the EUROPOL Convention (Law No 2605/1998, Government Gazette I/88) and as national supervisory authority as laid down in Article 17 of the Convention on the Use of Information Technology for Customs Purposes (Law No 2706/1999, Government Gazette I/77); and is responsible for duties arising from any international agreement.

Examination of applications, complaints and questions

The Data Protection Body examines complaints and questions relating to legal enforcement and protection of applicants’ rights when these are violated by data processing, and issues relevant Decisions. It also imposes administrative sanctions on data processors or their representatives, if any, for breach of their duties arising from Law No 2472/97 as well as from any other regulation on the protection of individuals from the processing of personal data. Finally, the Data Protection Body may report violations of data protection legislation to the competent administrative and judicial authorities.

  • Other specialised bodies

EPANODOS is a non-profit public service organisation governed by private law, under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights.

The primary objective of EPANODOS is social rehabilitation of ex-offenders, particularly through vocational training, promotion of working skills, counselling and psychological support, and creation of adequate support structures.

Derigny 28-30 & Tritis Septemvriou
Victoria Square, 10434 Athens, Greece

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Last update: 03/07/2019