European judgment on delay in addressing parental alienation

A recent judgment from the European Court of Human Rights – PISICĂ v. THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – holds that there has been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention as a result of the Moldovan States failure to fully discharge its positive obligations under that provision.

The Court considers that the Moldovan authorities lack of reaction to the applicants many complaints [about failure to address the alienation of her children] caused her great suffering. The courts eventually decided to transfer custody of the younger children from her to the father, a decision which confirms that the applicant suffered one of the most serious interferences with her family life. Accordingly, the Court awards the applicant EUR 12,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage.

Two of three children in this family were abducted by their father. With the assistance of social workers, the parents entered an access agreement, to which the father never adhered. The father used alienating tactics to systematically remove all three children from their mother’s life. The father exercised full custody and control of the children. Legal custody is eventually restored to mother, but this order is never implemented.  This happened between 2013 and 2017.

A more detailed case note has been published by Brendan Guildea.  The UK will still be subject to European Court of Human Rights judgments after Brexit and Scottish cases can still be appealed there, although they have to be considered by the UK Supreme Court first.  Brendan is one of the speakers at the online Parental Alienation conference on November 26th.