Frequently Asked Questions
print this page send this page
Frequently Asked Questions
What was the case at the European Court of Human Rights about?
  Category: Legal

The 1994 Law

In 1994 the Greek Government passed a law which stated the following:
  1. The 1992 law concerning the former King's property was annulled.
  2. His immovable property was confiscated.
  3. The contents of his houses were confiscated.
  4. His Greek citizenship was revoked and his right to hold a Greek passport was denied, unless,
  5. ..he registered at a local Town Hall, swore allegiance to the Greek Constitution and confirmed that he and his heirs have no further claim to the monarchy.
  6. His right of audience in a Greek Court was denied under the name 'King Constantine' (see below)
Right to property

The Human Rights Convention states that there is no discrimination and that everybody has the right of access to the Court.

King Constantine referred the case to the Commission of the European Court of Human Rights with the contention that the three Applicants' (King Constantine, Princess Irene, Princess Ekaterini) rights to property had been violated through confiscation, as directed by the 1994 law. The Commission was asked to decide whether this violation had taken place.

In a unanimous decision of the 30 judges, -including the Greek one-, the Commission ruled that the human rights of the Applicants had been violated and referred the case of the confiscation of the property to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The Commission maintained that on the issue of name, King Constantine had not be wronged by the Greek Government, as his full title had been used in the previous court procedures which had taken place in Greece, -and had therefore been accepted by the Supreme Court, the Supreme Special Court and the Council of State.

The ruling

On the 22nd November 2000, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its Judgment by a majority of 15 to 2. It ruled that the human rights of the Applicants had been violated, as their property had been confiscated.

In its deliberations, the ECHR had to examine the cases of ownership for each of the relevant properties and determined that they belong to the Applicants and in particular, Tatoi to King Constantine, Mon Repos to King Constantine and Polydendri to King Constantine, Princess Irene and Princess Ekaterini.

A chance to compromise

Following the ruling, the Court suggested that the two parties coordinate a settlement within a six-month period. Unfortunately, the Government refused to settle out of court, so the two parties tendered their observations in May 2001. Following these papers the Court requested that further observations were put in by December 2001. This is normal procedure in a case of this size.

The ECHR has always encouraged a friendly settlement, and indeed the former King has taken every opportunity both through the Court and in his paperwork to suggest that the parties should reach a friendly agreement and thus avoid a heavy tax burden on the Greek people.

April 2002

The final observations were to be submitted on 1st March 2002. This date has been moved to the 16th April by Government request. The Court will deliver its ruling on the level of compensation, if the Greek Government is still adamant on its decision not to return the properties to King Constantine and the other Applicants.

Find the FAQ you are looking for by browsing our FAQ categories or searching by keyword.

Search by keyword:
In Category:

Personal Activities
Visitor Questions
The Anna-Maria Foundation
   © 2006-2011 Greek Royal Family Site Index | Legal Information | Site Credits