Judgement 19857/10

Applicant name KALOČAI SOBONJA
Applicant type Natural person
Number of applicants 1
Country SERBIA
Application no. 19857/10 
Date 04/07/2023
Judges Faris Vehabović, President,
 Iulia Antoanella Motoc,
 Branko Lubarda,
Institution Court
Type Judgment
Outcome Art. 8 Violation
Reason Positive obligation
Type of privacy Relational privacy; procedural privacy
Keywords Custody; contact right
Facts of the caseThe applicant complained under Article 8 that the national authorities had failed (i) to ensure her contact with her son and (ii) to enforce the judgment in her favour, which had ultimately led to the adoption of a new judgment awarding custody of her son to her ex-husband.
Analysis Part of the facts of the case took place after a country’s accession to the Convention mechanism. The ECtHR does not have competence over events that took place before that moment. However, the Court emphasises that it will look at the case and all the relevant circumstances as a whole, therewith signaling it will not draw a strict line.

The Court finds that the decision-making process on the domestic level was not in conformity with Article 8 ECHR. It refers to the length of the child custody proceedings. The judicial determination of the dispute lasted over ten years, of which five and a half years fall within the Court’s competence ratione temporis. The protracted examination of the case resulted in a de facto determination of the matter and prevented the applicant from developing a meaningful relationship with her son. During the period at issue the applicant was also unable to see her son on a regular basis, with most of their instances of contact lasting no more than two hours.
Other Article violation? No sperate issue under 6 ECHR
Damage awarded (a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months, the following amounts, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement:
(i) EUR 4,000 (four thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage;
(ii) EUR 2,500 (two thousand five hundred euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant, in respect of costs and expenses;
Documents Judgment