INSPIRED BY E-ESTONIA

Draft Constitution for e-Greece

With unwavering faith and a steadfast will to strengthen and develop the state which embodies the inextinguishable right of the people of Greece to national self-determination which is founded on liberty, justice and the rule of law, which is created to protect the peace and defend the people against aggression from the outside, and which forms a pledge to present and future generations for their social progress and welfare, which must guarantee the preservation of the Greek people, the Greek language and the Greek culture through the ages, the people of Greece, on the basis of § 1 of the Constitution which should enter into force as soon as possible.

Chapter I
General Provisions

§ 1.
Greece is an independent and sovereign democratic republic wherein the supreme power of state is vested in the people.
The independence and sovereignty of Greece are timeless and inalienable.

§ 2.
The land, territorial waters and airspace of Greece constitute an inseparable and indivisible whole.
In terms of the organisation of its government, Greece is a unitary state whose administrative division is provided by law.

§ 3.
Governmental authority is exercised solely pursuant to the Constitution and laws which are in conformity therewith. Generally recognised principles and rules of international law are an inseparable part of the Greek legal system.
Laws are published in accordance with prescribed procedure. Only published laws may have binding force.

§ 4.
The activities of the President of the Republic, the Government of the Republic, and the courts are organised in accordance with the principles of separation and balance of powers.

§ 5.
The natural wealth and resources of Greece are national riches which must be used economically.

§ 6.
The official languages of Greece are Greek and English.

 


§ 7.
The national colours of Greece are blue, and white. The design of the national flag and the national coat of arms is provided by law.

Chapter II
Fundamental Rights, Freedoms and Duties

§ 8.
Every child of whose parents one is a citizen of Greece is entitled to Greek citizenship by birth.
Everyone who has forfeited his or her Greek citizenship as a minor is entitled to its restoration.
No one may be deprived of an Greek citizenship acquired by birth.
No one may be deprived of Greek citizenship because of his or her beliefs.
The conditions and procedure for the acquisition, forfeiture and restoration of Greek citizenship are provided in the Citizenship Act.

§ 9.
The rights, freedoms and duties of all persons and of everyone, as set out in the Constitution, apply equally to citizens of Greece and to citizens of foreign states and stateless persons in Greece.
The rights, freedoms and duties set out in the Constitution extend to legal persons in so far as this is in accordance with the purpose of legal personality and with the nature of such rights, freedoms and duties.

§ 10.
The rights, freedoms and duties set out in this chapter do not preclude other rights, freedoms and duties which arise from the spirit of the Constitution or are in accordance therewith, and which are in conformity with the principles of human dignity, social justice and democratic government founded on the rule of law.

§ 11.
Rights and freedoms may only be circumscribed in accordance with the Constitution. Such circumscription must be necessary in a democratic society and may not distort the nature of the rights and freedoms circumscribed.

§ 12.
Everyone is equal before the law. No one may be discriminated against on the basis of nationality, race, colour, sex, language, origin, religion, political or other views, property or social status, or on other grounds.
Incitement to ethnic, racial, religious or political hatred, violence or discrimination is prohibited and punishable by law. Incitement to hatred and violence between social classes or to discrimination against a social class is also prohibited and punishable by law.

§ 13.
Everyone is entitled to protection by the government and of the law. The Greek government also protects its citizens abroad.
The law protects everyone from arbitrary exercise of governmental authority.

§ 14.
It is the duty of the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, and of local authorities, to guarantee the rights and freedoms provided in the Constitution.

§ 15.
Everyone whose rights and freedoms have been violated has the right of recourse to the courts. Everyone is entitled to petition the court that hears his or her case to declare unconstitutional any law, other legislative instrument, administrative decision or measure which is relevant in the case.
The courts observe the Constitution and declare unconstitutional any law, other legislative instrument, administrative decision or measure which violates any rights or freedoms provided in the Constitution or which otherwise contravenes the Constitution.
§ 16.
Everyone has the right to life. The right to life is protected by the law. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life.

§ 17.
No one's honour or good name may be defamed.

§ 18.
No one may be subjected to torture or to cruel or degrading treatment or punishment.
No one may be subjected to medical or scientific experiments against his or her free will.

§ 19.
Everyone has the right to free self-realisation.
When exercising his or her rights and freedoms and fulfilling his or her duties, everyone must respect and observe the rights and freedoms of others, and obey the law.

§ 20.
Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.
No one may be deprived of his or her liberty except in the cases and pursuant to a procedure provided by law:
1) to enforce a judgment of conviction rendered or a detention ordered by a court;
2) for the case of non-compliance with a direction of a court, or to guarantee fulfilment of a duty provided by law;
3) to prevent a criminal or administrative offence, to bring before a competent authority a person in relation to whom there is reasonable suspicion that he or she has committed such an offence, or to prevent such a person from absconding;
4) to place a minor under disciplinary supervision or to bring him or her before a competent authority to determine whether to impose such supervision;
5) to detain a person suffering from an infectious disease, a person of unsound mind, an alcoholic or a drug addict, if such a person is a danger to himself or herself or to others;
6) to prevent illegal settlement in Greece and for removing a person from Greece or for extraditing a person to a foreign state.
No one may be deprived of his or her liberty on the mere ground of inability to fulfil a contractual obligation.
§ 21.
Everyone who has been deprived of his or her liberty must be informed promptly, in a language and manner which he or she understands, of the reason for the deprivation of liberty and of his or her rights, and be given an opportunity to notify those closest to him or her. A person suspected of a criminal offence must also be promptly given an opportunity to choose a counsel and to confer with him or her. The right of a person suspected of a criminal offence to notify those closest to him or her of the deprivation of liberty may be circumscribed only in the cases and pursuant to a procedure provided by law to prevent a criminal offence or in the interests of ascertaining the truth in a criminal case.
No one may be held in custody for more than forty-eight hours without a specific authorisation of a court. The decision of the court must be promptly communicated to the person in custody in a language and manner which he or she understands.
§ 22.
No one may be deemed guilty of a criminal offence before he or she has been convicted in a court and before the conviction has become final.
No one is required to prove his or her innocence in criminal proceedings.
No one may be compelled to testify against himself or herself, or against those closest to him or her.

§ 23.
No one may be convicted of an act which did not constitute a criminal offence under the law in force at the time the act was committed.
No one may be sentenced to a penalty that is more severe than the one that was applicable at the time the offence was committed. If, subsequent to the commission of the offence, the law makes provision for a lighter penalty, the lighter penalty applies.
No one may be prosecuted or sentenced for a second time for an act in respect of which he or she has been the subject of a final conviction or acquittal pursuant to the law.

§ 24.
No one may be transferred, against his or her free will, from the jurisdiction of a court specified by law to the jurisdiction of another court.
Everyone is entitled to attend any hearing held by a court in his or her case.
Court hearings are public. The court may, in the cases and pursuant to a procedure provided by law, order a hearing or a part thereof to be held in camera to protect a state secret or a trade secret, public morality or the private and family life of individuals, or where the interests of a minor, a victim, or the administration of justice so require.
Judgments are pronounced publicly, except in cases where the interests of a minor, a spouse, or a victim require otherwise.
In accordance with the procedure provided by law, everyone is entitled to appeal a judgment rendered in his or her case to a higher court.

§ 25.
Everyone is entitled to compensation for intangible as well as tangible harm that he or she has suffered because of the unlawful actions of any person.

§ 26.
Everyone is entitled to inviolability of his or her private and family life. Government agencies, local authorities, and their officials may not interfere with any person's private or family life, except in the cases and pursuant to a procedure provided by law to protect public health, public morality, public order or the rights and freedoms of others, to prevent a criminal offence, or to apprehend the offender.

§ 27.
The family, which is fundamental to the preservation and growth of the nation and which constitutes the foundation of society, enjoys the protection of the government.
Spouses have equal rights.
Parents have the right and the duty to raise their children and to provide for them.
The protection of parents and children is provided by law.
The family is required to provide for its members who are in need.

§ 28.
Everyone is entitled to protection of his or her health.
Every citizen of Greece is entitled to government assistance in the case of old age, incapacity for work, loss of provider, or need. The categories and extent of the assistance, and the conditions and procedure for its allocation are provided by law. Unless otherwise provided by law, citizens of foreign states and stateless persons in Greece enjoy this right equally with citizens of Greece.
The national government facilitates voluntary provision of welfare services and provision of welfare services by local authorities.
Families with a large number of children as well as people with disabilities enjoy special care of the national government and of local authorities.

§ 29.
Every citizen of Greece is entitled to freely choose his or her area of activity, profession and position of employment. The law may provide conditions and procedures for the exercise of this right. Unless otherwise provided by law, citizens of foreign states and stateless persons in Greece enjoy this right equally with citizens of Greece.
No one may be compelled to perform work or service against his or her free will, except for service in the defence forces or alternative service, or work required to prevent the spread of an infectious disease or to contain a natural disaster or catastrophe, or work which a convicted offender is required to perform according to the law and pursuant to a procedure established by law.
The national government organises vocational training and assists persons who seek employment in finding work.
Working conditions are overseen by the national government.
Everyone is free to belong to unions and federations of employees and employers. Unions and federations of employees and employers may assert their rights and lawful interests by means which are not prohibited by law. The conditions and procedure for the exercise of the right to strike are provided by law.
The procedure for resolution of labour disputes is provided by law.

§ 30.
Recruitment to positions in government agencies and local authorities takes place among citizens of Greece in accordance with the law and pursuant to the procedure established by law. Citizens of foreign states and stateless persons may be recruited to such positions as an exception provided this is allowed by the law.
In respect of certain categories of public servants, the right to engage in entrepreneurial activity and to form commercial associations (§ 31), and the right to belong to political parties and to certain types of non-profit associations (§ 48) may be circumscribed by law.

§ 31.
Citizens of Greece have the right to engage in entrepreneurial activity and to form commercial associations and federations. The law may provide conditions and procedures that circumscribe the exercise of this right. Unless otherwise provided by law, citizens of foreign states and stateless persons in Greek territory enjoy this right equally with citizens of Greece.
§ 32.
The property of every person is inviolable and equally protected. Property may be taken from the owner without his or her consent only in the public interest, in the cases and pursuant to a procedure provided by law, and for fair and immediate compensation. Everyone whose property has been taken from him or her without his or her consent has the right to bring an action in the courts to contest the taking of the property, the compensation, or the amount of the compensation.
Everyone has the right to freedom from interference in possessing or using his or her property or making dispositions regarding the same. Limitations of this right are provided by law. Property may not be used in a manner that contravenes the public interest.
On public interest grounds, the law may provide classes of property which may be acquired in Greece only by citizens of Greece, by certain categories of legal persons, by local authorities, or by the Greek government.
Succession of property is guaranteed.

§ 33.
The home is inviolable. No one's dwelling or other premises lawfully occupied by him or her, or his or her workplace may be forcibly entered or searched, except in the cases and pursuant to a procedure provided by law to protect public order, public health or the rights and freedoms of others, to prevent a criminal offence, to apprehend the offender, or to ascertain the truth in a criminal case.

§ 34.
Everyone whose presence in Greek territory is lawful has the right to move freely in that territory and to choose freely where to reside. The right to freedom of movement may be circumscribed in the cases and pursuant to a procedure which is provided by law to protect the rights and freedoms of others, in the interests of national defence, in the case of a natural disaster or a catastrophe, to prevent the spread of an infectious disease, to protect the natural environment, to ensure that a minor or a person of unsound mind does not remain unsupervised, or to ensure the proper conduct of a criminal case.

§ 35.
Everyone has the right to leave Greece. This right may be circumscribed in the cases and pursuant to a procedure provided by law to ensure the proper conduct of a trial or of a pre-trial investigation, or to enforce a court judgment.

§ 36.
No citizen of Greece may be expelled from Greece or prevented from settling in Greece.
No citizen of Greece may be extradited to a foreign state, except under conditions prescribed by an international treaty and pursuant to a procedure provided by such treaty and by law. Extraditions are decided by the Government of the Republic. Any person who is subject to an extradition order has the right to challenge this order in an Greek court.
Every Greek is entitled to settle in Greece.

§ 37.
Everyone has the right to education. Education for school-age children is compulsory to the extent specified by the law, and is free of charge in general schools established by the national government and by local authorities.
In order to make education accessible, the national government and local authorities maintain a requisite number of educational institutions. Other educational institutions, including private schools, may also be established and maintained pursuant to the law.
Parents have the deciding say in the choice of education for their children.
Everyone has the right to be taught in Greek. The language of teaching in national minority educational institutions is chosen by the educational institution.
The provision of education is overseen by the national government.
 


 


§ 38.
Science and art and their teachings are free.
Universities and research institutions are autonomous within the limits prescribed by the law.

§ 39.
The rights of an author in respect of his or her work are inalienable. The national government protects authors' rights.

§ 40.
Everyone is entitled to freedom of conscience, freedom of religion and freedom of thought.
Everyone is free to belong to any church or any religious society. There is no state church.
Everyone is free to practise his or her religion, alone or in community with others, in public or in private, unless this is detrimental to public order, public health or public morality.

§ 41.
Everyone has the right to abide by his or her opinions and beliefs. No one may be compelled to change his or her opinions or beliefs.
Beliefs are no defence for violating the law.
No one may be held legally liable for his or her beliefs.

§ 42.
Government agencies, local authorities, and their officials may not gather or store information about the beliefs of a citizen of Greece against the citizen's free will.
§ 43.
Everyone has the right to confidentiality of messages sent or received by him or her by post, telegraph, telephone or other commonly used means. Derogations from this right may be made in the cases and pursuant to a procedure provided by law if they are authorised by a court and if they are necessary to prevent a criminal offence, or to ascertain the truth in a criminal case.
§ 44.
Everyone is entitled to free access to information disseminated for public use.
Pursuant to a procedure provided by law, all government agencies, local authorities, and their officials have a duty to provide information about their activities to any citizen of Greece at his or her request, except for information whose disclosure is prohibited by law and information intended exclusively for internal use.
Pursuant to a procedure provided by law, any citizen of Greece is entitled to access information about himself or herself held by government agencies and local authorities and in government and local authority archives. This right may be circumscribed pursuant to law to protect the rights and freedoms of others, to protect the confidentiality of a child's filiation, and in the interests of preventing a criminal offence, apprehending the offender, or of ascertaining the truth in a criminal case.
Unless otherwise provided by law, citizens of foreign states and stateless persons in Greece enjoy the rights specified in paragraphs two and three of this section equally with citizens of Greece.

§ 45.
Everyone has the right to freely disseminate ideas, opinions, beliefs and other information by word, print, picture or other means. This right may be circumscribed by law to protect public order, public morality, and the rights and freedoms, health, honour and good name of others. This right may also be circumscribed by law in respect of public servants employed by the national government and local authorities, or in order to protect a state secret, trade secret or information received in confidence which has become known to the public servant by reason of his or her office, and to protect the family and private life of others, as well as in the interests of the administration of justice.
There is no censorship.

§ 46.
Everyone has the right to address informational letters and petitions to government agencies, local authorities, and their officials. The procedure for responding to such letters and petitions is provided by law.

§ 47.
Everyone has the right to assemble peacefully and to conduct meetings without prior permission. This right may be circumscribed in the cases and pursuant to a procedure provided by law to safeguard national security, maintain public order, uphold public morality, ensure the safety of traffic and the safety of participants of the meeting, or to prevent the spread of an infectious disease.

§ 48.
Everyone has the right to form non-profit associations and federations. Only citizens of Greece may belong to political parties.
The establishment of associations and federations which possess weapons, which are organised in accordance with military principles or which hold exercises of a military nature requires a prior authorisation whose conditions of issuance and procedure of issuance are provided by law.
Associations, federations and political parties whose aims or activities are directed at changing the constitutional order of Greece by force or are otherwise in conflict with a law providing criminal liability, are prohibited.
Only a court may terminate or suspend the activities of an association, federation or political party for a violation of the law, or order the association, federation or political party to pay a fine.

§ 49.
Everyone has the right to preserve his or her ethnic identity.

§ 50.
National minorities have the right, in the interests of their culture, to establish self-governing agencies under such conditions and pursuant to such procedure as are provided in the National Minorities Cultural Autonomy Act.

§ 51.
Everyone has the right to address government agencies, local authorities, and their officials in Greek and to receive responses in Greek.
In localities where at least one half of the permanent residents belong to a national minority, everyone has the right to receive responses from government agencies, local authorities and their officials also in the language of the national minority.

§ 52.
The official language of government agencies and local authorities is Greek.
In localities where the language of the majority of the residents is not Greek, local authorities may, to the extent and pursuant to a procedure provided by law, use the language of the majority of the permanent residents of the locality as their internal working language.
The use of foreign languages, including the languages of national minorities, in government agencies, in courts and in pre-trial procedure is provided by law.

§ 53.
Everyone has a duty to preserve the human and natural environment and to compensate for harm that he or she has caused to the environment. The procedure for compensation is provided by law.

§ 54.
It is the duty of each citizen of Greece to be loyal to the constitutional order and to defend the independence of Greece.
In the absence of other means of opposing a forcible attempt to change the constitutional order of Greece, every citizen of Greece has the right to resist such an attempt of his or her own initiative.

§ 55.
Citizens of foreign states and stateless persons in Greece are required to observe the constitutional order of Greece.


Chapter III
The People

§ 56.
Supreme political authority in Greece is vested in the people who, through citizens eligible to vote, exercise it:
1) in elections of the Riigikogu;
2) in referendums.
§ 57.
Any citizen of Greece who has attained eighteen years of age is eligible to vote.
A citizen of Greece who has been declared by a court to lack legal capacity is ineligible to vote.

§ 58.
Participation in elections may be circumscribed by law in the case of citizens of Greece who have been convicted by a court and are serving a sentence in a penal institution.


Chapter IV
The Riigikogu

§ 59.
Legislative authority is vested in the parliament.

§ 60.
The parliament comprises one hundred and one members. Members of the parliament are elected in free elections according to the principle of proportional representation. Elections are general, uniform and direct. Voting is secret.
Any citizen of Greece who has attained twenty-one years of age and is eligible to vote may stand in an election of the parliament.
Regular elections of the parliament are held on the first Sunday of March of the fourth year counting from the year of the preceding election of the parliament.
Extraordinary elections of the parliament are held in the cases prescribed in §§ 89, 97, 105 and 119 of the Constitution, not earlier than twenty and not later than forty days after the election was called.
The procedure for elections of the parliament is provided in the Parliamentary Election Act.

§ 61.
The mandate of members of the parliament commences on the day the results of the election are announced. The mandate of members of the preceding parliament terminates on the same day.
Before assuming his or her duties, a member of the parliament takes an oath of office declaring loyalty to the Republic of Greece and to its constitutional order.

§ 62.
A member of the parliament is not bound by his or her mandate, and may not bear legal liability for any vote cast or any political statement made by him or her in the parliament or in any of its bodies.

§ 63.
A member of the parliament may not hold any other governmental office.
A member of the parliament is exempt from the duty to serve in the Defence Forces during his or her term of office.

§ 64.
The mandate of a member of the parliament is suspended upon his or her appointment as member of the Government of the Republic, and is restored upon his or her release from the duties of a member of the Government of the Republic.