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Greece – ECtHR to reinforce prisoners’ procedural rights and modify its approach to the principle of equivalence of care

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EPLN & the Centre for European Constitutional Law – Themistokles & Dimitris Tsatsos Foundation (CECL) submitted a Third Party Intervention in the case P.S. v. Greece (2500/22, communicated in 2022).

The case concerns the lack of appropriate medical care in prison for an HIV-positive patient, as well as the lack of effective domestic remedies in this respect.

In their intervention, EPLN and CECL invited the Court to harmonise and update its approach to the obligation of State parties in relation to the protection of prisoners’ health. In particular, EPLN and CECL argued that the entire public health doctrine on health protection in prisons is built around a series of considerations that militate in favour of a firmer and more assertive anchoring of European requirements in the principle of equivalence of care.

EPLN also invites the Court to take into consideration the practical obstacles faced by prisoners wishing to complain about their detention conditions and reinforce their procedural rights accordingly, chiefly their right to access to information, to a lawyer and to free legal aid. This is of paramount importance in view of the high number of prisoners with mental health disorders (one third of prisoners in Europe according to the WHO), and of imprisoned foreigners (25% of prisoners in average in CoE countries, more than half of prisoners in Greece), who are not in a position to avail themselves of the remedies available.

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EPLN-CECL_Third Party Intervention - P.S. v. Greece_2024
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