The European Court of Human Rights and Child’s Rights

Date: Friday 24. August
Time: 10:10 – 11:10
Place: Bergen Resource Centre for International Development, Jekteviksbakken 31, Bergen

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has decided nine child protection cases brought against the Norwegian state. Parents disagreeing with the state’s child welfare interventions have brought their complaints to the Court, alleging a breach of Article 8 of the ECHR. The Court must carry out an assessment of the potential breach of the parents’ Convention rights, but also give thorough consideration to the child’s rights. How does the ECtHR handle cases that concern childcare proceedings, adoption without consent, or care orders of newborn babies? How does the ECtHR understand the margin of appreciation, the subsidiarity principle and what is “necessary in a democratic society” in these cases? Is the case law uniform on this? Is there European consensus to speak of on these issues?

Four of the cases communicated to Norway concern adoption as child protection measure. How are biological ties and legal ties assessed in these cases and how is the child’s best interests interpreted? How should the court weigh biological ties and legal ties and best interest assessments – in light of Article 8?

Moderator: Trond Helland (University of Bergen).