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Fundamental rights - Greece

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National Courts

The Ombudsperson

Specialised human rights bodies

National Courts

In Greece there is no special court with jurisdiction to deal with a breach 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.

National Human Rights Institutions

National Commision for Human Rights

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The National Commission for Human Rights (National Commission for Human Rights) is an independent advisory body to the State on the protection of human rights, which was established in accordance with the United Nations and the Paris Principles. 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;

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

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

The Ombudsperson

The Ombudsperson is an independent authority anchored in the Constitution. It was set up by Law 2477/97 and started its operations on 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.

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Specialised human rights bodies

  • Ombudsman 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 equal treatment

I. Law 3304/2005 which transposes Council Directives 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 and 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 as promoters of the principle of equal treatment, the Ombudsman, the Equal Treatment Committee and the Labour Inspectorate (SEPE) and their respective responsibilities.

In particular:

  1. The Ombudsperson is responsible for upholding the principle of equality where this principle has been violated by public administrative authorities. Public services are those referred to in the first subparagraph of Article 3 of Law No 3094/2003 (Government Gazette, Series I, No 1). 10) “Ombudsman 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.

II. Law No 3896/2010 (Government Gazette, Series I, No 207/08.12.2010) on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation — Harmonisation of the legislation in force with Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 and other related provisions, introduced the absolute prohibition of all forms of direct or indirect discrimination on grounds of sex.

This law seeks to ensure the 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 professional development, and vocational training, including vocational training, including for the purpose of employment (“vocational training”), and (b) working conditions and conditions, including remuneration; 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).

  • Hellenic Personal Data Protection Authority

The Hellenic Data Protection Authority (ASF) is an independent Authority established by Law 2472/1997, which transposes Directive 95/46/EC into Greek law.

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.

The Authority for the Protection of Personal Data shall act on its own initiative or on the basis of a complaint of administrative checks in archives, both public and private. 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 Ν.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 Authority shall also exercise an independent scrutiny in the national section of the Schengen Information System, in accordance with Article 114(1) of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement (Law 2514/1997, Government Gazette, Series I, No 140), shall exercise the powers of the national supervisory authority provided for in Article 23 of the Europol Convention (Law 2605/1998, Government Gazette, Series I, No 88), and the responsibilities of the national supervisory authority provided for in Article 17 of the Convention on the use of information technology for customs purposes (Law 2706/1999, Government Gazette, Series I, No 77), as well as the supervisory responsibilities arising from any other international agreement.

The ASF addresses complaints and questions regarding the application of the law and the protection of the rights of applicants when they are affected by data processing and issues 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 Authority may report breaches of the provisions of the law to the competent administrative and judicial authorities.

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Useful Links

Link opens in new windowNational Commision for Human Rights

Link opens in new windowHellenic Personal Data Protection Authority

Link opens in new windowOmbudsman

This is a machine translated version of the content. The owner of this page accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the quality of this machine translated text.

Last update: 27/08/2020