European Court of Human Rights – Chamber Hearing – Lykourezos vs Greece (application no. 33554/03) – The Registrar of the Court issued a Press Release

March 16, 2006  |   News   |

Mr Alexander Lykourezos in discussion
with the Hellenic Republic’s attorney,
Mr Michael Apessos, during the Court’s recess.


Press Release issued by the Registrar


The European Court of Human Rights is holding a Chamber hearing today 16 March 2006 at 9 a.m., on the merits in the case of Lykourezos v. Greece(application no. 33554/03)

The applicant

Alexandros-Léon Lykourezos is a 72-year-old Greek national who lives in Athens.

Summary of facts

The application concerns the applicant’s forfeiture of his parliamentary seat on the grounds that carrying on a professional activity disqualified him from holding such office.

Mr Lykourezos has been a member of the Athens Bar since 1960. In April 2000 he stood in the parliamentary elections in the first constituency of Athens as a candidate on the “Nea Dimokratia” party’s list. He obtained 44,387 votes and was elected as a member of parliament for a four-year term.

In 2001 an amendment to the Constitution made the duties of a member of parliament incompatible with engaging in any profession. The disqualification is provided for in the new Article 57 of the Constitution, although the relevant implementing legislation has not yet passed.

In February 2003 a constituent lodged an application with the Special Supreme Court against the applicant, arguing that pursuant to Article 57 of the Constitution, his practising as a lawyer disqualified him from holding parliamentary office. In a judgment of 3 July 2003 the Special Supreme Court allowed the application and ruled that the applicant had forfeited his seat. In particular, it dismissed the applicant’s argument that he could not be deemed to be practising a profession as he no longer received any fees.

Accordingly, the applicant lost his seat in the Chamber of Deputies in July 2003.


Relying on Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (right to free elections) to the European Convention on Human Rights, the applicant complains that his forfeiture of his parliamentary seat infringed his right to be elected to parliament and deprived his voters of the candidate that had elected before his term of office had expired. He also alleges that the fact that he forfeited his seat in order to be able to carry on his professional activities amounted to unjustified interference with his private and professional life, in breach of Article 8 (right to respect for private life).


The application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights on 22 October 2003 and declared admissible on 13 December 2005.

Composition of the Court

The case will be heard by a Chamber composed as follows:

Loukis Loucaides (Cypriot), President,
Christos Rozakis (Greek),
Francoise Tulkens (Belgian),
Elisabeth Steiner (Austrian),
Khanlar Hajiyev (Azerbaijani),
Dean Spielmann (Luxemburger),
Sverre Erik Jebens (Norwegian), judges,
Nina Vajić (Croatian),
Anatoli Kovler (Russian), substitute judges,

And also Santiago Quesada, Deputy Section Registrar.

Representatives of the parties

Government: Michael Apessos, Agent
Stavros Spyropoulos, Stavroula Trekli, Advisers

Applicant: Nicos Alivizatos, Counsel,
Evangelos Mallios, Adviser.

The applicant, Alexandros-Léon Lykourezos, will also attend the hearing.

After the hearing the Court will begin its deliberations, which are held in private. Judgment will be delivered at a later date.


  • “... Alexander Lykourezos, e nei Balcani lo conoscono tutti. E considerato “il” principe del Foro ...”

    -Corriere Della Sera-
  • “... Αlexander Lykourezos est l’avocat le plus prise du pays ...”

    – Libération-