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Zahra Pabani
Zahra Pabani
Partner - Family Law
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Date:31 OCT 2007

(European Court of Human Rights; 23 October 2007)

The Finnish court had granted the Estonian father supervised access to the 8-year-old child every Friday afternoon at her hometown in Finland. The decision had been based on a social services report, taking into account the fact that the father and child had not met regularly over the previous 2 years. The access arrangements were to be reviewed in future if necessary. The father complained that his relationship with the child had been restricted to such an extent that the relationship was effectively impossible to develop or maintain. While it was true that the arrangements fixed by the Finnish courts required great efforts on the part of the father, such arrangements were a balancing exercise in which the best interests of child usually overrode those of the parent. The decision of the Finnish court had been supported by relevant and sufficient reasons; there had been no violation of European Convention on Human Rights, Art 8 or discrimination against the father as an Estonian in breach of Art 8 taken with Art 14.