January 27
2020
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14th January 2020
Human Rights Justice & Litigation

ECtHR: Political interference in child custody case violates Article 8 ECHR

In today’s judgment in Rinau v. Lithuania, the European Court of Human Rights has declared that the Lithuanian authorities violated Article 8 of the ECHR (right to respect for private and family life) by politically interfering and delaying the return of a daughter from her Lithuanian mother to her German father. As explicitly noted by the ECtHR, the case attracted a great deal of attention from the Lithuanian media and politicians, with much criticism about returning the child to Germany and, accusations that the authorities were failing to protect the rights of the mother as a Lithuanian citizen.

The ECtHR has found that both the legislature and the executive attempted to influence the decision-making process in favour of the mother, despite the existence of domestic court orders in favour of the father. Such a failure to ensure a fair decision-making process in the enforcement of the judgment for the child’s return is, according to the ECtHR, contrary to Article 8 ECHR, but also to the fundamental aims of the Hague Convention and of the Brussels II bis Regulation.

Read the judgment here.

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