Orthodox Monk Wins Case to Practice as a Lawyer in Greece



File photo

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Tuesday vindicated an Orthodox monk whose application to register at the bar had been rejected by the Greek authorities.

The ECJ ruled that Greece cannot stop Monk Irenaeus from practicing as an attorney. It said Greek legislation prohibiting the monk, who has the status of a lawyer in Cyprus, from registering at the bar is contrary to EU law.

Greece had claimed that there was an incompatibility between the status of being a monk and the profession of an attorney.

Monk Irenaeus, who is from the Monastery of Petras, near Karditsa in central Greece, requested that the Athens Bar Association enter him on the special register of the Athens Bar as an attorney in 2015.

The association rejected his application on the basis of national provisions relating to the incompatibility between the practice of the profession of a lawyer and the status of a monk.

Four years later, Monk Irenaeus has finally won the case after taking the step to challenge that initial decision.