Judgment 18843/20

pplicant name  CHERRIER
Applicant type Natural person
Number of applicants 1
Country France
Application no. 18843/20
Date 01/30/2024
Judges Georges Ravarani , president ,
 Lado Chanturia,
 Mārtiņš Mits,
 Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström,
 Maria Elosegui,
 Mattias Guyomar,
 Kateřina Šimáčková
Institution Court
Type Judgment
Outcome Art. 8 No violation
Reason Fair balance struck (rights and freedoms of others)
Type of privacy Relational privacy; private life; procedural privacy
Keywords Right to identity; biological parent
Facts of the case The application concerns the refusal of the National Council for Access to Personal Origins (CNAOP) to communicate to the applicant the identity of her biological mother who abandoned her at birth and who renewed her desire not to reveal his identity in response to his request to reveal the secrecy of his origins. The applicant denounces a violation of Article 8 of the Convention which establishes the right to respect for private life.
Analysis Interestingly, the Court treats this case under the umbrella of negative obligations instead of positive.

It treats it essentially as a clash between two subjective rights of private individuals and the question is whether the natioal authorities have struck a fair balance.

In principle, there is a large margin of appreciation for states, especially with respect to such moral issues. However, the importance of the information for the individual applicant reduces that margin of appreciation. Moreover, France is one of the few European countries that allows for anonymous adoption.

The French authorities collected a certain amount of non-identifying information which it transmitted to the applicant, which enabled it to understand the circumstances of his birth. The Court emphasizes that the seriousness of the interference in the applicant’s private life due to the refusal of her biological mother must not obscure the importance of the general interest at stake. It notes, moreover, that the applicant benefited from judicial proceedings before the domestic courts during which she was able to put forward her arguments in a contradictory manner. 

Judge Mourou-Vikström dissents because of the fact that under the domestic system, ultimately, the mother’s whishes prevailed over that of the child.   
Other Article violation?
Damage awarded
Documents Judgment