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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

02 FEB 2010

RESIDENCE: Dabrowska v Poland (Application No 34568/08

(European Court of Human Rights; 02 February 2010)

The father took his child on holiday, failed to return to matrimonial home and refused private contact with the child's mother. The court-appointed guardians refused to involve the police to recover the child, or to inform the public prosecutor. The mother's attempts to involve the public prosecutor were also unsuccessful. Eventually the court accepted the status quo and granted the father temporary custody of child.

Held that the state had failed to enforce binding decisions granting mother custody of her child, resulting in a violation of Article 8 of the ECHR. Future relations between parent and child should not be determined by the mere effluxion of time.

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