Title: The ECtHR in the role of a European Constitutional Court? Reflections on the ECtHR judgment Vallianatos and others versus Greece (7 November 2013)

Authors: Charalambos Anthopoulos; Christina M. Akrivopoulou

Addresses: Hellenic Open University, Parodos Aristotelous 18, PC 26335, Patra, Greece ' Greek Refugee Appeals Authority, Kanellopoulou Avenue 2, PC 101 77, Athens, Greece

Abstract: The paper that follows comments on the Vallianatos versus Greece (7 November 2013) judgment of ECtHR. As it is illustrated, in this extremely interesting judgment the Strasbourg Court has acknowledged the positive obligation of the Council of Europe state members in recognising civil partnerships as a right of both heterosexual and homosexual couples. In this judgment, the Court referred to its previous case law reiterating that the notion of family life is subject to social changes that oblige the Council of Europe state members to reinterpret its traditional meaning by expanding it also to alternative forms of family life while reserving for the states the competence to regulate the right to marriage. In this framework, the present comment aims in analysing the ECtHR stance on the homosexual couples rights to family life, marriage and civil partnerships while examining the Court of Strasburg role in reviewing national legislation as an informal European 'Constitutional Court'.

Keywords: privacy; right to family life; right to marriage; European Court of Human Rights; same-sex marriage; sexual freedom; child rights; discrimination; registered partnerships; civil partnerships; homosexual rights; Greece; homosexual partnerships; social change; national legislation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRCS.2015.072475

International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, 2015 Vol.3 No.3, pp.285 - 296

Published online: 14 Oct 2015 *

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