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24 APR 2007

CARE: Berecova v Slovakia

(European Court of Human Rights; 24 April 2007)

The children were in the mother's custody until the court intervened on the basis of the mother's gross neglect of the children's education, together with suspicion of ill-treatment, and ordered that the children be placed temporarily in the father's custody. In the following month, the father being unable to care for the children, the children were placed in care by the authorities. Domestic law prevented a court review of the relevant decisions. The mother complained that the placement of the children in institutional care breached her rights under Art 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950.

The domestic provisions which prevented a court review of the relevant administrative decisions were incompatible with the Slovak Constitution, which was the fundamental source of law; therefore the interference with the mother's family life had not been in accordance with law. There had accordingly been a breach of Art 8.

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