Volume 17 (2011)

Volume 17 (2011) / Issue 4

Michael Ioannidis, 'The ECtHR, National Constitutional Law, and the Limits of Democracy: Sitaropoulos and Others v. Greece' (2011) 17 European Public Law, Issue 4, pp. 661–671


This article discusses the decision of the First Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in the case Sitaropoulos and Others v. Greece. In this case, the Court was asked to examine whether the omission of Greece to provide two Greeks residing in France with effective means to exercise their voting right from abroad was compatible with Article 3 of the First Protocol to the ECHR. The Court found that the Greek omission violated the applicants' right to free elections as guaranteed by Article 3. This finding deserves close scrutiny not only because of its potential impact on the Greek political system, but also with regard to the Court's reasoning. Most importantly, the Sitaropoulos decision is based on a rather questionable reading of the Greek Constitution, which, moreover, gives the Court a controversial role in demarcating the limits of the Greek electorate.

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ISSN: 1354-3725
ID: EURO2011043