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Thlimmenos v Greece (2000) 9 B.H.R.C. 12.

Facts: The applicant was a Jehovah's Witness who was found guilty of insubordination for refusing to enlist in the army for religious reasons. Because of this criminal record, the executive board of the Greek chartered accountants' body refused to appoint him as a chartered accountant even if he had passed the qualifying exam.

Complaint: the applicant claimed a violation of article 9, 14 and 61 of the European Convention

Holding: the ECHR found that there had been a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in connection with Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) and a violation of Article 6  1 (right to a hearing within a reasonable time) of the European Convention

Reasoning: The State should have introduced appropriate exceptions to the rule barring persons convicted of a felony from the profession of chartered accountants. Accordingly there was a violation of article 14 in conjunction with article 9. Moreover, the proceedings lasted seven years and there were periods of inactivity in the proceedings. There was a violation of article 61 because the proceedings were not terminated within a "reasonable time".


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