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Dolores Utrilla
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13th September 2021
Consumer, Health & Environment Covid-19 Data, Tech & IP Employment & Immigration Human Rights

ECtHR rejects request for interim suspension of Greek law on compulsory COVID-19 vaccination for health-sector staff

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has decided to reject the requests for interim measures submitted by the applicants in the cases Kakaletri and Others v. Greece (application no. 43375/21) and Theofanopoulou and Others v. Greece (application no. 43910/21).

The applicants are 30 health professionals who work independently or in public health institutions in Greece. They complain about the provisions of section 206 of Law no. 4820/2021 which impose compulsory vaccination of health-sector professionals against COVID-19 as a condition for being able to continue exercising their occupation. According to the applicants, such provisions breach the European Convention on Human Rights, in particular of its Articles 2 (right to life), 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), 4 (prohibition of slavery and forced labour), 5 (right to liberty and security), 6 (right to a fair hearing), 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and 14 (prohibition of discrimination).

In its decision on the request, the ECtHR noted that interim measures are granted only on an exceptional basis and concluded that in the case at hand the requested suspension lies outside the scope of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. 

This follows the refusal by the ECtHR in late August to order the interim suspension of French conditional vaccination rules for COVID-19.

The decision has not been published yet. A press release is available here.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccination requirements and their compatibility with European law, read this Long Read and this Op-Ed by Dolores Utrilla, and watch the video of this Webinar organised by EU Law Live and the Lex-Atlas: Covid-19 Network.

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