(European Court of Human Rights; 18 November 2008)
The father had refused to comply with court orders requiring that the children live with the mother. The court fined the father twice and at one point ordered the physical removal of the children from his care. However, this order was not enforced in the face of the children's objections. The father was found guilty of parental child abduction and was sentenced to 6 months suspended for one year. The mother complained that she had been prevented from exercising her parental rights in respect of the children, by the failure of the authorities to enforce court orders, and that her Art 8 and Art 6 rights had thereby been breached.
Noting that the children had made it clear that they wanted to remain with the father, that the state social care centre had played a constructive role in proceedings, that the domestic court had attempted to get the father to cooperate and that ultimately the mother had been unable to resume physical custody of the children in the absence of their explicit consent, the court held that there had been no breaches of the mother's human rights.