AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY

                        Application No. 13780/88
                        by Nicholas PHILIS
                        against Greece


        The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private
on 11 October 1989, the following members being present:

              MM. C.A. NØRGAARD, President
                  J.A. FROWEIN
                  S. TRECHSEL
                  F. ERMACORA
                  G. SPERDUTI
                  E. BUSUTTIL
                  G. JÖRUNDSSON
                  A. WEITZEL
                  H.G. SCHERMERS
                  H. DANELIUS
                  G. BATLINER
                  J. CAMPINOS
                  H. VANDENBERGHE
             Mrs.  G.H. THUNE
             Sir  Basil HALL
             MM.  C. L. ROZAKIS
                  L. LOUCAIDES

             Mr.  H.C. KRÜGER, Secretary to the Commission

        Having regard to Article 25 of the Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

        Having regard to the application introduced on 6 April 1988
by Nicholas Philis against Greece and registered on 20 April 1988
under file No. 13780/88;

        Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 40 of the
Rules of Procedure of the Commission;

        Having regard to the written observations of the respondent
Government of 18 May 1989 and the applicant's observations in reply of
26 June 1989;

        Having deliberated;

        Decides as follows:

THE FACTS

        The facts of the case as submitted by the parties may be
summarised as follows.

        The applicant is a Greek citizen, born in 1937, and is a
private consultant enginer having had a technical bureau in Athens
since 1970.  The applicant's two other applications concerning civil
proceedings in the context of litigation between him and the public
body Organismos Ergatikis Katoikias (Application No. 12750/87) and
a certain A.S. (Application NO. 14003/88) are pending before the
Commission.  The present application refers to civil proceedings
concerning litigation between the applicant and the public bodies
PIKPA (Patriotiko Idryma Koinonikis Pronoias kai Antilopseos) and PNP
(Paidiko Nosokomeio Pentelis).

        On 30 October 1984 the State Institution PIKPA, supervised by
the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, assigned to the applicant a
design project, concerning building installations of a hospital.  A
similar project was assigned to the applicant on 23 February 1983 by
the hospital itself, which in the meantime had become a public law
institution PNP.  The projects have been submitted to and later on
accepted by PNP.

        On 27 July 1983 PNP informed the applicant of the fee to be
paid for the work he had carried out.  The applicant considered that
the amount of his remuneration had been arbitrarily reduced and on
14 October 1983 requested PNP to modify the decision determining the
fee.  Following disagreement, the applicant applied on 29 February 1984
to the competent department of the Ministry of Health and Social
Welfare.

        As the request remained unanswered, the applicant introduced
on 1 August 1984 an action against both PNP and PIKPA before the
Athens' Court of Appeal (Efeteio Athinon).

        By ministerial decision of 9 August 1984 the Minister of
Health and Social Welfare rejected the applicant's requests.

        On 26 February 1985 the Court of Appeal invited the applicant
to submit evidence that he is inscribed as a consultant engineer in
the registry of public expenditure, i.e. the list from which
appointments are made for public works.

        After a hearing held on 3 June 1986, the Court gave, on
15 July 1986, a partial decision rejecting the applicant's action as
far as PIKPA was concerned since all rights and obligations of this
body had been transferred to PNP.  The Court requested the
parties to submit expert evidence concerning the work carried out by
the applicant.

        The Court held another hearing on 22 September 1987 and gave
its final decision on 16 November 1987.  It declared the applicant's
action inadmissible, since according to the provisions of the Royal
Decree 30/1956 an action for recovering design project's fees can only
be introduced by the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE), which is
exclusively authorised to bring such an action in substitution for the
engineer.

COMPLAINTS

1.      The applicant complains that he has not been given access to a
court with regard to his remuneration claims against the public law
bodies PIKPA and PNP.  He invokes Article 6 para. 1 and Article 13 of
the Convention.

2.      He moreover complains about the length of the proceedings
concerning his claims and submits in particular that these proceedings
began on 14 October 1983, when he applied to PNP to modify the
decision determining the amount of his fee and ended by the decision
of the competent Court of Appeal on 16 November 1987.  Thus, the
proceedings have lasted more than four years.

3.      The applicant further complains of the decision of the
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.  He submits that this authority
is not independent and impartial and that it did not deal with his
application in a public hearing.

4.      Moreover, the applicant alleges that the decision of the
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare affected his claims, which he
considers as "possessions" within the meaning of Article 1 of Protocol
No. 1 to the Convention.

5.      The applicant finally alleges that the Athens Court of Appeal
did not consider his complaints concerning the fairness of the
proceedings before the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.  He
complains that he has not been given an effective remedy before a
national authority in relation to his complaints regarding the
fairness of the administrative procedure before the Ministry and
invokes Article 13 of the Convention.

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

        The application was introduced on 6 April and was registered on
20 April 1988.  On 14 March 1989 the Commission decided to bring the
application to the notice of the respondent Government and invite them
to submit written observations on the admissibility and merits of the
application.

        The Government submitted their observations on 18 May 1989.
The applicant presented observations in reply on 26 June 1989.

THE LAW

1.      The applicant complains, invoking Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1)
and Article 13 (Art. 13) of the Convention that the provisions of
Royal Decree 30/1956 deprive him of effective access to a court with
regard to his  remuneration claims against the public law bodies PIKPA
and PNP.

        Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1) of the Convention provides as
follows :

"In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or
of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a
fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an
independent and impartial tribunal established by law."

        The Commission recalls that Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1) of the
Convention secures to everyone the right of access to a court to
determine any claim relating to his civil rights (cf. Eur. Court H.R.,
Golder judgment of 21 January 1975, Series A no. 18, p. 18, para. 36).

        The Government have submitted that the Greek law secures to
the applicant sufficient access to a court.  They submit in particular
that the applicant is entitled to lodge an "oblique action"
(plagiastiki agogi) with the competent courts in case the TEE refuses
to institute proceedings.  He can, moreover, sue his debtors, exercising
the TEE's procedural rights pursuant to Articles 730 and following of
the Civil Code (Astikos Kodix), concerning voluntary agency (dioikisi
allotrion).  Furthermore, the applicant can, according to the
provision of the Royal Decree 30/1956, bring an ancillary interpleader
action (prostheti paremvasi) and join the TEE in the proceedings as
co-plaintiff or co-defendant.  Finally, the Government submit that the
applicant can introduce an action claiming indemnity for the damages
caused by an eventual refusal by the TEE to institute proceedings.

        The applicant contends that neither the ancillary interpleader
action he is entitled to lodge, nor the compensation action against
the TEE can be considered as guaranteeing him sufficient access to the
court.  He moreover submits that the possibilities of bringing an
"oblique action" or of taking action against his debtors as a
"voluntary agent" (dioikitis allotrion) of the TEE are purely
theoretical.

        The Commission considers that the case raises an issue as to
whether the applicant has access to a court for the determination of
his civil claims against PIKPA and PNP.  The questions of fact and law
in this respect are of such a complex nature that their determination
requires an examination of the merits.  It follows that this aspect of
the application cannot be considered manifestly ill-founded within the
meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2) of the Convention.  It must,
therefore, be declared admissible, no other grounds for declaring it
inadmissible having been established.

2.      The applicant also complains about the length of the
proceedings he instituted against PIKPA and PNP and invokes
Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1) of the Convention.

        The rule requiring a hearing "within a reasonable time"
applies to all proceedings in which the court decides on civil rights
and obligations.  Therefore the Commission has to examine whether this
provision applies to the proceedings complained of which ended with
the Athens Court of Appeal's decision declaring the applicant's action
inadmissible for lack of locus standi.

        Furthermore, the Commission notes that the Government
submit that any possible delays in these proceedings were essentially
due to the conduct of the applicant and that the competent judicial
authorities cannot be held responsible for them.  The applicant
contends that the length of the proceedings was unreasonable because
the Athens Court of Appeal took the point concerning his lack of
locus standi only three years after the commencement of the
proceedings.

        The Commission considers that this part of the application
raises complex questions of fact and law which require an examination
of the merits.  It follows that this part of the application cannot be
considered manifestly ill-founded and must, therefore, be declared
admissible, no other grounds for declaring it inadmissible having been
established.

3.      The applicant also complains of the decision of the Ministry of
Health and Social Welfare.  He alleges that this body was not
impartial and that its decision constitutes an interference with his
case pending before the Athens Court of Appeal.  He invokes Article 6
(Art. 6) of the Convention.

        The Commission however considers that the decision of the
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare cannot be regarded as a
determination of the applicant's civil rights and obligations.  The
procedure before the Ministry and the decision constitute the
commencement of the dispute which then had to be brought before the
competent judicial authorities.

        In these circumstances the Commission finds that Article 6
(Art. 6) of the Convention does not apply to the administrative
procedure before the Ministry.  It follows that this part of the
application is incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of
the Convention within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2).

4.      The applicant alleges that the decision of the Ministry of
Health and Social Welfare affected his claims which he considers as
"possessions".  He invokes Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) to the
Convention.

        The Commission has found that a "debt" can constitute a
"possession" for the creditor (No. 7742/76, Dec. 4.7.78, D.R. 14 p.
146 and No. 7775/77, Dec. 5.10.78, D.R. 15 p. 143), but the existence
of such debt must have been established.  In the present case the
applicant's claims cannot be regarded as established and therefore
they cannot constitute a "possession" within the meaning of Article 1
of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1).

        It follows that this part of the application is manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2) of
the Convention.

5.      The applicant finally alleges that he has not been given an
effective remedy before a national authority in relation to his
complaint regarding the fairness of the administative procedure before
the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.  The applicant invokes
Article 13 in conjunction with Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 13+6-1) of the
Convention.

        The Commission recalls that the complaint concerning the
fairness of the administrative procedure has been found incompatible
ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention.  In this
respect the Commission recalls that Article 13 (Art. 13) does not
guarantee any remedy when the main complaint is outside the scope of
the Convention (cf. No. 8782/79, Dec. 10.7.81, D.R. 25 p. 243).  It
follows that this complaint under Article 13 (Art. 13) of the
Convention is incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the
Convention and must be rejected under Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2).

        For these reasons, the Commission

        DECLARES ADMISSIBLE, without prejudging the merits, the
        applicant's complaint that he did not have access to a
        court with regard to his civil claims and the complaint
        concerning the length of the proceedings before the Athens
        Court of Appeal

        DECLARES THE REMAINDER OF THE APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE


Secretary to the Commission         President of the Commission



    (H. C. KRÜGER)                       (C. A. NØRGAARD)