Family Law Hub

Human Rights

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  • Appeal concerning whether different sex couples are discriminated against by not being allowed to enter into a civil partnership. The Supreme Court unanimously held that they were and declared the CPA incompatible with the ECHR Judgment, 28/06/2018, free
  • The half-brother of a party to family proceedings back in 2002 was applying to have access to the original judgment from Singer J and to various experts' reports. The M was applying to be released from her undertaking not to communicate with the media with a view to displacing the findings made against her by Singer J. The half-brother was allowed access to a limited number of documents and the M's application was dismissed. Judgment, 30/05/2018, free
  • In brief: After divorcing his wife in 2006, Mr Doktorov discovered that one of their two children (born in 2003) was not biologically his. A DNA test in January 2007 confirmed this and, the following month, he brought a civil claim to contest paternity. However, his claim was dismissed as time-barred. Relying on Article 8, Mr Doktorov complained that he had been unable to bring his claim because the one-year time-limit started running from the time he learnt about the child’s birth. However, he had only learned that he was not the child’s father until four years later. The ECtHR agreed that there had been a violation of his Article 8 rights. Judgment, 15/05/2018, free
  • In brief: The mother (“M”) had applied for a residence order for her son in February 2014 after the father (“F”) took the child to Chechnya. Based mainly on a positive report on the father by the local childcare authority, the district court dismissed M’s residence order application and granted one in favour of F, although he had not requested it. M’s subsequent appeals were unsuccessful. It was then revealed that the report prepared by the childcare authority included incorrect and incomplete information. Following F’s death in 2014, the child was returned to M in 2016. The ECtHR found that the domestic courts’ examination of the family’s circumstances had not been thorough enough, which had not allowed the best interests of the child to be established. Overall, there had been a violation of M’s rights under Article 8. Judgment, 15/05/2018, free
  • In brief: This case began as a private law dispute where the mother (“M”) was very concerned that the father (“F”) would abduct the child. Subsequently (and it is not clear what led to this), the local authority (“LA”) obtained an interim care order and removed the child. The judgment concerns a number of applications (brought by M) for declarations pursuant to the Human Rights Act 1998 that ss 2, 8, 38, 50, and 97 CA 1989 and the whole of the Child Abduction Act 1984 were incompatible with the ECHR. The fundamental point M made was that the statute was not strong or effective enough. Surprisingly, the High Court did not take the opportunity offered to them of overturning huge chunks of statute. Judgment, 26/04/2018, free

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