Judgement 57752/21

Applicant name X
Applicant type Natural person
Number of applicants 1
Application no. 57752/21 
Date 31/08/2023
Judges Péter Paczolay, President,
 Alena Poláčková,
 Gilberto Felici, judges,
Institution Court
Type Judgment
Outcome Art. 8 Violation
Reason Positive obligation
Type of privacy Procedural privacy; relational privacy
Keywords Custody/contact with child; delay in procedure; access to documents; fairness of trial
Facts of the caseComplicated custody case with an applicant, child, father of the child, new partner and mother of the applicant and many institutions, experts and professionals involved.
AnalysisAlthough the applicant invokes both Article 6 and 8 ECHR, the Court assesses the case under Article 8 ECHR only, therewith reconfirming its position on the procedural requirements implicit in the substantial provisions under the Convention. The Courts points out that there is a positive obligation under this provision for the national authorities to take measures with a view to reuniting parents with their children and to facilitate such reunions/ Delayed conduct of custody and contact proceedings may give rise to a breach of positive obligations under Article 8 of the Convention. The ECtHR points out that it took the District Court almost three years to come to a conclusion, while only three hearings were held during that time. Regarding the expert evidence in toxicology, the presence of drugs in the father’s system had to be established. By the nature of things, the usefulness of such test depended on his biological samples being taken promptly, while that had not been the case. There was a further psychological report on signals that the applicant had mistreated the child. It took months before the applicant was able to get access to that report. Hence, a violation of Article 8 ECHR was established.
Other Article violation?
Damage awarded  that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months, EUR 9,750 (nine thousand seven hundred and fifty euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage;
Documents Judgment