Applicant name X.
Applicant type Natural Person
Country The Netherlands
Decision no. 2648/65
Date 06/02/1968
Institution Commission (Plenary)
Type Decision
Outcome Art. 8 Inadmissible
Reason Ratione Temporis; Exhaustion Domestic Remedies; Six months rule; Manifestly Ill-founded; health and morals
Type of privacy Family Privacy
Keywords Even if; margin of appreciation; custody
Facts of the case Man’s custody over his children denied; children are placed out of home.
Analysis Commission stresses that the judgements made by Dutch courts to place the children out of home were issued before the Convention entered into force. Consequently, the complaints should be deemed inadmissible ratione temporis to the extent that they refer to these matters.

The Commission doubts whether the man has exhausted all domestic remedies, but applies an ‘even if’ type of reasoning, stressing “even assuming the Applicant to have exhausted the domestic remedies”, he had not adhered to the principle that a complaint should be submitted to the Commission no later than 6 months after highest judge in his country had issued a decision.

On the content of the matter, the commission stressed that there were signs that the man neglected his children, so that the decision by the domestic courts were legitimate. The decision by the Commission is interesting for two reasons:

1. The Commission refers to the ground of the protection of ‘health and morals’ of the children. In later jurisprudence, the Commission and the Court will refer to the ‘protection of the rights and freedoms of others’ instead.
2. It stresses that in matters such as at stake in this case, there was a considerable margin of appreciation of the national state. “Whereas the Commission has stated in an number of previous decisions (for instance, Nos. 1329/62, Yearbook V, p. 201, and 2792/66, Collection of Decisions, Vol. 21, p. 67) that the terms of paragraph (2) (Art. 8-2) left a considerable measure of discretion to the domestic courts in taking into account factors in the case which might appear to them to be critical for the protection of the health and morals of a child;”

Documents Decision