(ECtHR, Kjølbro (P), Vehabović, Lubarda, Mourou-Vikström, Ravarani, Schukking and Paczolay, 16 June 2020)
Paternity – Domestic courts refused to reopen paternity proceedings – Applicant alleged that decision had denied him the opportunity to prove his origins
The European Court of Human Rights unanimously held that there had been a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
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CASE OF BOLJEVIĆ v. SERBIA
(Application no. 47443/14)
Art 8 • Positive obligations • Time-bar precluding DNA test of deceased man and review of final judgment approving his disavowal of paternity, without applicant’s knowledge, before such tests became available • Absence of arbitrariness in the domestic courts’ reasoning • Applicant’s vital and overriding interest in establishing the identity of his biological father • Disavowal of paternity discovered many years after the expiry of the five-year time-limit for the reopening of proceedings • Domestic law not allowing for the applicant’s specific situation to be taken into account • Private life of the deceased purported father not affected by a request for DNA testing • Preservation of legal certainty not sufficient in itself for depriving the applicant of the right to ascertain his parentage
16 June 2020
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.