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Chamber judgment concerning Switzerland

Round stairs of the central hall of the Human Rights building

22/11/2022

In the case of D.B. and Others v. Switzerland the Court held that there had been a violation of the right to respect for private life of a child born through surrogacy and no violation of the right to respect for family life of the intended father and the genetic father.

The case concerned a same-sex couple who were registered partners and had entered into a gestational surrogacy contract in the United States. The applicants complained that the Swiss authorities had refused to recognise the parent-child relationship established by a US court between the intended father and the child born through surrogacy. The Swiss authorities had recognised the parent-child relationship between the genetic father and the child. The Court stated that the chief feature which distinguished the case from those it had decided before was that the first two applicants were a same-sex couple in a registered partnership. The Court held that for the Swiss authorities to withhold recognition of the lawfully issued foreign birth certificate in so far as it concerned the parent-child relationship between the intended father and the child without providing for alternative means of recognising that relationship, had not been in the best interests of the child. Switzerland had therefore overstepped its margin of appreciation by not making timely legislative provision for such a possibility.

Press release Factsheet: Gestational surrogacy Factsheet: Children's Rights Factsheet: Sexual Orientation Case law of the ECHR and sexual orientation

Due to the interruption of the international postal services to and from the Russian Federation and where the only means of delivery of the Court’s decisions and judgments to the applicants is by post, the Court has exceptionally decided to notify the applicants about decisions and judgments adopted by its Chamber and Committee judicial formations after 1 March 2022 in respect of applications against the Russian Federation only via its HUDOC database.

As announced in the Court’s press release of 29 August 2022, as from 1 September 2022 the Court has returned in some aspects to the normal processing of applications involving Ukraine. Due to the interruption of the international postal services to and from Ukraine, the Court will communicate with applicants via its electronic communication system, eComms. For that purpose, the Court will use the email address provided by the applicants. Regarding specifically the notification of decisions and judgments, where no email address has been provided the Court has exceptionally decided to notify the applicants about decisions and judgments adopted by its Chamber and Committee judicial formations only via its HUDOC database. Decisions adopted by the Single Judge will be notified only to those applicants who have provided an email address. Prior to contacting the Court about the state of the proceedings in a case, applicants are encouraged to consult the Court’s State of Proceedings search tool for further information.

Official Visits

  • Visit by the Minister of Justice and Public Administration of Croatia

    30/11/2022 
    Visit by the Minister of Justice and Public Administration of Croatia

    On 30 November 2022 Ivan Malenica, Minister of Justice and Public Administration of Croatia, visited the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. Davor Derenčinović, judge elected in respect of Croatia, and Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.

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  • Visit by the Minister of Justice of Slovenia

    29/11/2022 
    Visit by the Minister of Justice of Slovenia

    On 29 November 2022 Dominika Švarc Pipan, Minister of Justice of Slovenia, visited the Court and was received by President Síofra O’Leary. Marko Bošnjak, Vice-President, judge elected in respect of Slovenia, and Marialena Tsirli, Registrar of the Court, also attended the meeting.

     

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Chamber

  • Judgment concerning the Republic of Moldova

    22/11/2022 

    In the case of G.M. and Others v. the Republic of Moldova, the Court found a violation of the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment in both its substantive and its procedural aspects.

    The case concerned the imposition of abortions and birth-control measures on three intellectually disabled women, residents in a neuropsychiatric asylum, after they had been repeatedly raped by one of the head doctors there, and the investigation into their complaints.

    The Court found that the domestic criminal law had not provided effective protection, and the inquiry had not factored in their vulnerability as intellectually disabled women exposed to sexual abuse in an institutional context.

    Press release

    Factsheet - Persons with disabilities Factsheet: Violence against Women Factsheet: Reproductive Rights

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Interim measures

  • Interim measure indicated concerning Belgium

    16/11/2022 
    Interim measure indicated concerning Belgium

    The ECHR has decided to indicate an interim measure in the case of Msallem and 147 Others v. Belgium.

    The case concerns the applicants who have applied to the Belgian authorities for international protection and have not been assigned accommodation on account of the alleged saturation of the network for receiving asylum-seekers in Belgium. The Court decided to enjoin the Belgian State to comply with the orders made by the Brussels Labour Court in respect of each of the applicants and to provide them with accommodation and material assistance to meet their basic needs for the duration of the proceedings before the Court.

    Press release

    Factsheet: Interim measures

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Grand Chamber

  • Referral to the Grand Chamber

    14/11/2022 
    Referral to the Grand Chamber

    The Court has accepted the referral to the Grand Chamber of the case of Grosam v. the Czech Republic.

    The case concerned the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Administrative Court’s issuing a fine in disciplinary proceedings to the applicant for professional misconduct, and his subsequent appeal to the Constitutional Court. The applicant complained that the presumption of innocence was not respected in his case, that the Constitutional Court did not address many of his arguments and that there was no appeal possible against the Supreme Administrative Court’s decision, despite the fact that it could not be considered the “highest tribunal” given its composition and the lack of sufficient guarantees as to its expertise and independence.

    The Court has also decided to reject requests to refer nine other cases.

    Press release

    Cases pending before the Grand Chamber

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Decisions

  • Inadmissibility decision concerning Spain

    10/11/2022 

    The Court has declared inadmissible the application in the case of Mas Gavarró v. Spain.

    The case concerned the publication of a number of articles in the daily newspaper El Mundo which according to the applicant had damaged his reputation.

    The Court found that the applicant could have brought an action for the publication of a correction in the newspaper within three days, or could have initiated the special procedure for the protection of the right to one’s honour in order to obtain redress for the alleged damage to his reputation. By choosing only to use the criminal-law avenue, the applicant had deprived himself of the possibility of securing redress for the alleged infringement of his rights through the civil procedure. He had thus limited the scope of the examination by the domestic courts, which had been able only to rule on the lack of gravity of the alleged damage for the purposes of the criminal law. The applicant had thus failed to show that the State had offered him insufficient protection and that there had been an infringement of his right to respect for his reputation.

    Press release

    Factsheet - Protection of reputation

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Judgments&Decisions

Delivered Judgments & Decisions

29/11/2022

5 Judgments

Forthcoming Judgments & Decisions