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Maryam Tabib and Nuala Mole, The Aire Centre, London. This article is based on a paper presented to the European Committee for Children of Imprisoned Parents (EUROCHIPS) conference, Paris, May 2006.
The only right which imprisoned offenders lose automatically is the right to liberty. Every other interference with their rights must be justified as a necessary and proportionate consequence of their imprisonment. The right to respect for family life is one such right. Under Art 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 (the European Convention), any interference with family life must be in accordance with the law, pursue a legitimate aim and be proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued. This article looks at the degree to which the European Convention can ensure that the family rights of prisoners are respected and, in particular, allow them to carry out their parental duties and maintain their relationships with their children. See June  International Family Law for the full article.