Greece: Court ruling station - Constitutional mandatory vaccination of health professionals

"It is imposed on the specific professional group in the context of the constitutional obligation for demonstration of social solidarity"

emvoliasmos 1 1 Judgment, Constitution, health, compulsory vaccination

The State Council (SC) of Greece has taken a decision that is considered a milestone in the issue of measures to deal with the pandemic, considering that the mandatory vaccination in specific categories such as health workers and employees in the Special Unit for Disaster Management (EMAK) is constitutional.

Specifically, the Plenary Session of the Council of State rejected the applications for annulment lodged by members of the categories of workers concerned, declaring that their complaints concerning the unconstitutionality of compulsory vaccination were unfounded.

This decision, although it first refers to the specific appeals filed, creates an important judicial precedent for establishing the constitutionality of compulsory vaccination in other categories of workers and the population.

Indeed, the President of the Council of State Dimitrios Skaltounis made use of the legal provisions that allow him to publish the decision of the Plenary, before its official publication which is a multi-month process.

The decision of the officials of the Supreme Court was based on the reasoning that the public health and the life of the citizens are the highest constitutionally protected goods, against which the arguments of the complaints about unconstitutionality fall. At the same time, the scientificity of the vaccination data was also an important part of the rationale for the decision.

In particular, regarding the request for annulment of members of the staff of EMAK, the CoC considered, among other things, that the decision on the obligation of vaccination, ensures the uninterrupted operational operation of the service, is provided by substantive law and is based on valid scientific data. Still, it was judged that compulsory vaccination "Does not violate the principles of equality and non-discrimination."

With regard to the cancellation requests for medical, paramedical, nursing and other staff, the SC rejected them, arguing, inter alia, that the vaccination "Is imposed on this professional group in the context of the constitutional obligation to demonstrate social solidarity, especially with regard to medical and nursing staff due to the increased responsibility it has for the protection of patients' health."