According to Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights (hereafter the ECHR), “1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. 2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”
Relying on Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 ECHR, they claimed in particular that their right to private and family life had been violated and that there had been unjustified discrimination between same-sex and heterosexual couples.
The ECtHR, after declaring the application admissible as regards applicants Nos 1 to 148, 150 to 226 and 228 to 324, referred to the general principles set out in the judgment in Vallianatos and Others v Greece (see 1, 2), it concluded that there had been a violation of Article 14 ECHR in conjunction with Article 8 in respect of the above applicants, stating, first, that it had not found any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a conclusion different from that in the Vallianatos case and, second, that the Government had not provided valid and convincing reasons capable of justifying the exclusion of same-sex couples from the scope of application of Law No. 3719/2008 (as it was in force before the publication of Law 4356/2015).
Respect for fundamental rights is one of the basic components of the rule of law.
The fundamental rights that every citizen should enjoy are enshrined, inter alia, in the European Convention on Human Rights. It is a primary and undeniable obligation of the State to respect these rights.
In this particular case, however, the European Court of Human Rights condemned Greece for a violation of Article 14 of the ECHR in conjunction with Article 8 due to the unjustified exclusion (until the publication of Law 4356/2015) of same-sex couples from the scope of application of Law 4356/2015. 3719/2008 on civil partnership.
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