3321/67 3322/67 3323/67 3344/67

Applicant name Denmark, Sweden, Norway & The Netherlands
Applicant type State
Country Greece
Decision no. 3321/67 3322/67 3323/67 3344/67
Date 24/01/1968
Institution Commission
Type Decision
Outcome Art. 8 Admissible
Type of privacy Locational Privacy; Informational Privacy
Keywords State of Emergency
Facts of the case Greece invoked the state of emergency under Article 15 ECHR, among others suspending the right to privacy as contained in Article 12 its constitution “Each man’s house is inviolable. No house searches shall be made except when and as the law directs. Offenders against these provisions shall be punished for abuse of authority and shall be obliged to indemnify fully the injured party and further to give satisfaction to said party by such sum of money as the law provides.” as well as Article 20 of its Constitution, holding: “The secrecy of letters and correspondence by any other medium whatsoever shall be completely inviolable.” Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands argued that this violated the Convention.
Analysis In Greece, a revolutionary regime was installed. Obviously, there was resistance. The Greek regime argued that such resistance should be quelled, as it incited anarchy; the applicant governments argued that the revolutionary regime crippled normal democratic instruments to challenge the legitimacy of the revolutionary regime. The Greek regime argued that the application was inadmissible, for a number of reasons, such as that the Convention held no sway over revolutionary governments and that with respect to a revolution in Turkey, the Consultative Assembly earlier had adopted a different approach and there had been no inter state complaint then, which should be regarded as a precedent. The Commission stressed that there was no reason why a revolutionary government should not be deemed responsible for upholding the Convention and made two points of interest:

1. “Whereas, in this respect, the Commission recalls that the Consultative Assembly has no competence to deal with applications alleging violations of the Convention; whereas it is also clear that the Commission, in the exercise of its functions under Article 19 (Art. 19) of the Convention, is limited to a consideration of the substance of the case-file before it and thus acts in complete independence as regards any outside body; Whereas, furthermore and in particular, there is no basis for the suggestion that, in the carrying out of its task, the Commission might be subject to influence as a result of any declarations of the Assembly;”
2. “Whereas the provisions of Article 27, paragraphs (1) and (2) (Art. 27-1, 27-2), of the Convention refer only to petitions submitted under Article 25 (Art. 25) and not to applications made by Governments and are therefore inapplicable to the present case; Whereas, in particular, an application under Article 24 (Art. 24) cannot be rejected in accordance with paragraph (2) of Article 27 (Art. 27-2) as being manifestly ill-founded; whereas it follows that the question whether such an application is well-founded or not is solely a question relating to the merits of the case; whereas, therefore, the effects of derogations made by the Government of Greece under Article 15 (Art. 15) of the Convention cannot be considered at the present stage of admissibility (see Application No 176/56 loc cit); whereas, consequently, the Commission is bound to reserve for an examination of the merits of this case the question whether the legislative measures and administrative practices in Greece, which form the subject of the present Applications, were or are justified under Article 15 (Art. 15);

Documents Decision