Judgment 3041/19

plicant name G.T.B.
Applicant type Natural person
Number of applicants 1
Country Spain
Application no. 3041/19
Date 16/11/2023
Judges Georges Ravarani, President,
 Carlo Ranzoni,
 Mārtiņš Mits,
 María Elósegui,
 Mattias Guyomar,
 Kateřina Šimáčková,
 Mykola Gnatovskyy,
Institution Court
Type Judgment
Outcome Art. 8 Violation
Reason Positive obligation
Type of privacy Procedural privacy; private life
Keywords Official documents; recognition
Facts of the caseThe case concerns the delay by the public authorities in processing the applicant’s mother’s request to register his birth, which was made several years after the applicant was born. Not having a birth certificate also prevented the applicant from having a national ID card, which he only obtained when he was twenty-one years old. The lack of identification documents had, in the applicant’s view, an impact on his psychological well‑being, which violated his right under Article 3, on his private and family life, which violated his right under Article 8 § 1 of the Convention, and on his right to education under Article 2 of Protocol No. 1, as he complained that he had not been able to enrol in school and obtain diplomas because of this.
AnalysisWhich respect to the claim under Article 3 ECHR, the Court finds that the appliant did not meet the de minimis standard and thus treats the complaint concerning ill-treatment under the right to privacy. ‘The Court considers that in the present case the applicant has not provided any evidence other than the severity of his current psychiatric and psychological diagnosis to substantiate that the treatment he received from the public authorities handling his request to have his birth registered attained the minimum level of severity to reach the threshold established under Article 3 of the Convention. However, the Court considers that the complaint can be examined under Article 8 of the Convention, which protects the right to respect for private life. §)’

As to the claim under Article 2 of Protocol No. 1, concerning the difficulties in enrolling in certain educational courses as well as in obtaining the corresponding diplomas and certificates because of his lack of an ID card, the ECtHR also finds that this must be assessed under the scope of the right to privacy.

As to the claim under Article 8 ECHR, the Court finds that not being able to establish details of a person’s identity interferes with personal autonomy, which is protected under the Convention through the right to privacy. Consequently, Article 8 ECHR includes ‘an individual right to have one’s birth registered and as a consequence, where relevant, to have access to other identity documents. §118)

The applicant considers that in his specific situation the, in itself legitimate procedure, was applied too strict, without regard to the consequences for his right to respect for his private life was unjustified. The Court finds that the domestic authorities were under a positive obligation stemming from Article 8 to act with due diligence in order to assist the applicant to obtain his birth certificate and his identity documents, to ensure effective respect for his private life. Although they did provide all relevant information about the proceeding the applicant could follow, they did not help or actively assist. It pointed out, inter alia, that four years elapsed between the moment when it became apparent to the public authorities that the applicant’s mother could not facilitate any further documents to register her son’s birth, and its actual registration. The Court considers that there was no justification to delay the “recognition”, which seemed to be the only way to prove the mother-son relationship and, hence, to proceed with the issuing a birth certificate for the applicant, in the absence of any relevant Mexican documents. Consequently, the public authorities did not take sufficiently adequate and timely action in discharging their positive obligation to assist the applicant in his obtention of a birth certificate and connected identity documents when it was clear that he required such assistance; they merely insisted on the applicant’s mother responsibility to comply with all the legally established criteria, notwithstanding their awareness that no further documents concerning the applicant´s birth in Mexico would be found and disregarding the particular vulnerability of the applicant. Thus, there has been a violation of Article 8 ECHR.
Other Article violation? No violation 3 ECHR or 2 1e Protocol
Damage awarded (a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts]:
(i) EUR 12,000 (twelve thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage;
(ii) EUR 4,840 (four thousand eight hundred and forty euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant, in respect of costs and expenses;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;
Documents Judgment