Marrying a non-deceased wife’s sister? Theodorou and Tsotsorou

Is a ban on marrying the sibling of one’s former spouse a violation of the right to marry under Article 12 ECHR? That was the issue before the Court in Theodorou and Tsotsorou v Greece [2019] ECHR 611 [in French].


The applicants, Georgios Theodorou and Sophia Tsotsorou, were a married couple. In 1971, Mr Theodorou had married PT – Sophia Tsotsorou’s sister – with whom he had a daughter. In 2001, the Athens Regional Court dissolved that marriage and in 2004 granted the parties a divorce. In 2005, Mr Theodorou married Ms Tsotsorou in a religious ceremony – but in the following year, PT complained about their marriage to the public prosecutor’s office, arguing nullity on the grounds of kinship by marriage between the two spouses. Continue reading