University police constitutional, court rules

University police constitutional, court rules

The establishment of the university police does not violate the principles of academic freedom and of full autonomy of third-level educational institutions, the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, has ruled.

The court made its deliberations known in two decisions published on Friday.

It said Law 4777/2021, which provides for the establishment of what are officially called University Institutions Protection Teams (OPPI), is in line with constitutional imperatives.

The court said that the university police does not affect the autonomy of third-level educational institutions as the force has no role in research or teaching or in the administration of universities and colleges.

The new force began patrols outside universities last month. The government deems the university police necessary due to what it is says is the lawlessness at universities. However, opponents of the force, mainly from left-wing parties, argue it threatens academic freedom established after the end of military rule in the 1970s.

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