The European Court of Human Rights has awarded a Polish father compensation after ruling that Poland breached Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. In the judgement Malec v Poland as reported in Family Law Week the ECHR awarded Mr Malec 7,000 euros in damages and 5,000 euros to cover his legal costs.
The parents separated in 2008, and when contact problems developed the father obtained an interim contact order in November 2010. His contact with his child became irregular and the conflict between the parents escalated. Subsequently, between May 2011 and January 2012 almost no contact took place. Afterwards, contact took place irregularly, usually only on weekdays and without any overnight stays.
A court appointed guardian pointed out in her report in July 2009 that a “speedy regulation of contact visits between the child and the father is recommended”, but it took the domestic court two years to issue an interim contact order. Subsequently, as of May 2011, it had become impossible to have any contact visits.
When the Mr Malec’s former wife failed to comply with the court contact orders, the applicant began to file enforcement claims with the District Court. He filed over 50 such requests and they eventually resulted in the District Court ordering the mother to comply with the access arrangements and to the imposition of fines on two occasions, only one being collected by May 2013.
The ECHR judgement states that: ” … a lack of cooperation between parents who have separated is not a circumstance which can of itself exempt the authorities from their positive obligations under Article 8. It rather imposes on the authorities an obligation to take measures that would reconcile the conflicting interests of the parties, keeping in mind the paramount interests of the child”.
FNFS has raised this judgement with the Scottish Courts in connection with our concerns about delays both in the hearing of cases and the issuing judgements.0 likes