The national legal system
Greece is a parliamentary republic.14 Popular sovereignty is the foundation of government,
and all powers derive from the people and exist for the people and the nation. 15 The
national legislative authority rests jointly with Parliament and the Government. Greece 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.
It is important, however, to highlight that the Constitution declares in Article 28 that the
Ρgenerally recognisedΣ rules of international law, as well as international conventions,
constitute an integral part of Greek law, which come into force as of the time when they
are ratified by statute in Greece, and that they prevail over any contrary statutory
provisions. εoreover, Ρthe rules of international law and international conventions shall be
applied to aliens only under the condition of reciprocityΣ. As a result of Greek accession to
the European Communities, EU law has become part of the legal system. As well as the
rules contained in primary sources of EU law, which prevail over domestic law, secondary
EU legislation, especially regulations, is directly applicable in Greece.
List of main legislation transposing and implementing the directives
- Equal Treatment Law 4443/201616 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, which replaced
the previous main Greek anti-discrimination legislation (Law 3304/2005).
Adopted by the Greek Parliament: 2 December 2016.
Entered into force: 9 December 2016.
Protected grounds: racial or ethnic origin, religious or other beliefs, disability, age,
sexual orientation, chronic illness, descent, family or social status and gender identity
Material scope: all persons in both the public and private sectors; access to
employment and occupation (but not self-employment), vocational training and
education, social protection, including social security and healthcare, education, and
access to goods and services, including housing.
14 Greek Constitution, Article 1(1). Greece is not a federal state. The text of the Constitution is available in
English at: www.hellenicparliament.gr/en/Vouli-ton-Ellinon/To-Politevma/Syntagma.
15 Constitution, Articles 1(2) and 1(3).
16 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).