Greece is a parliamentary republic. Popular sovereignty is the foundation of government,
and all powers derive from the people and exist for the people and the nation. The national
legislative authority rests j ointly with Parliament and the Government. Gre ece has a civil
(continental) legal system, with fields of law separated into specific bodies (civil law,
public/administrative law, criminal law, commercial law, labour law etc.). Greece does not
have a constitutional court, but all courts of all instances have an inherent obligation to
interpret rules and laws in conformity with the Greek Constitution. Greece has three
supreme courts: the Council of State ( ) (for public law), the
Supreme Court ( ) (for private law) and the Chamber of Accounts (
) (a limited-jurisdiction administrative court). The Greek Constitution
contains fundamental rules on the elimination of all forms of discrimination and the
promotion of equality, most of which are contained in Part II, headed ΡCivil and Social
RightsΣ. These rights are the principle of human dignity, the free development of oneΣs
personality and participation in the financial, social and political life of the country, the
principle of equality, the right to health,1 religious freedom, freedom of speech and the
press, the right to legal protection, the protection of personal data, free education,
protection of family, marriage and children, protection of people with disabilities, the right
to work and equal remuneration. The Constitution does not make any reference to sexual
orientation or gender identity. However, according to Article 28, Ρgenerally recognised rules
of international law, as well as international conventions as of the time they are ratified by
statute and become operative according to their respective conditions, shall be an integral
part of domestic Greek law and shall prevail over any contrary provision of the lawΣ.
Therefore, treaties and conventions signed and ratified by Greece that aim to protect
individuals from discrimination, based, inter alia, on their sexual orientation or gender
identity (such as the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights), prevail over national law.2
According to Article 25 of the Constitution, the state is obliged to eliminate any existing
discrimination. These fundamental rules are applicable to all national fields of law and
should always be adhered to. However, special laws have been adopted for each field.
2. Main legislation
In Greek law, there is explicit anti-discrimination legislation: Equal Treatment L aw
4443/20163 on the transposition of Directive 43/2000/EC on the application of the principle
of equal treatment irrespective of race and ethnic origin, and the transposition of Directive
78/2000/EC on the configuration of the general framework of equal treatment in
employment and work. This law replaced the previous main Greek anti-discrimination
legislation (Law 3304/2005). The protected grounds under the law are racial or ethnic
origin, religious or other beliefs, disability, age and sexual orientation, with chronic illness,
descent, family4 or social status and gender identity or characteristics having been added.
In addition, at the normative level (concerning the rules of the Greek legal system), there
1 Gender identity is not explicitly mentioned in the text of the Greek Constitution. However, it is considered to
derive from the constitutional right of the free development of an individualΣs personality (Article 5 of the
Constitution). See Decision 67/2018 of the Magistrate Court of Marousi.
2 There is no recorded case law where the courts have applied Art. 21 of the EU Charter (on the pro tection of
sexual orientation) as prevailing over national law.
3 Law 4443/2016 on the transposition of Directive 43/2000/EC on the application of the principle of equal
treatment irrespective of race and ethnic origin, and the transposition of Directive 78/2000/EC on the
configuration of the general framework of equal treatment in employment and work and Directive
54/2014/EU on measures facilitating the exercise of rights conferred on workers in the context of freedom
of movement for workers and other provisions. Abbreviation: Equal Treatment Law (OJ 232 A/ 09.12.2016).
4 Whether or not LGBT families are included is an issue of judicial interpretation. Greece recently introduced a
law which allows same-sex couples to become foster parents. However, Greece does not permit the
adoption of children by same-sex couples, and individuals of the same sex cannot both be considered
parents of a child in cases where a child is biologically related to one of them, in which case only the
biological parent is registered as the parent.