Execution of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights
R. against Finland
(Application No. 34141/96, judgment of 30/05/2006, final on 30/08/2006)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which provides that the Committee supervises the execution of final judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” and “the Court”);
Having regard to the judgment in this case, transmitted by the Court to the Committee once it had become final;
Recalling that the violation of the Convention found by the Court in this case mainly concerns the failure of the authorities to take adequate measures to reunite the applicant with his son placed in foster care (violation of Article 8) (see details in Appendix);
Having invited the government of the respondent state to inform the Committee of the measures taken to comply with Finland's obligation under Article 46, paragraph 1, of the Convention to abide by the judgment;
Having examined the information provided by the government in accordance with the Committee's Rules for the application of Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention;
Recalling that a finding of violations by the Court requires, over and above the payment of just satisfaction awarded in the judgment, the adoption by the respondent state, where appropriate:
- of individual measures to put an end to the violations and erase their consequences so as to achieve as far as possible restitutio in integrum; and
- of general measures, preventing similar violations;
DECLARES, having examined the measures taken by the respondent state (see Appendix), that it has exercised its functions under Article 46, paragraph 2, of the Convention in this case and
DECIDES to close the examination of this case.
Appendix to Resolution CM/ResDH(2009)149
Information about the measures to comply with the judgment in the case of
R. against Finland
Introductory case summary
This case mainly concerns a violation of the applicant's right to respect for his family life due to the authorities' failure to facilitate the reunification of the applicant with his child (violation of Article 8).
The applicant's five-year-old son (born in 1987) was placed in a children's home in 1992 due to the mother's violent behaviour and both parents' incapacity to bring him up. Later the authorities decided to maintain the public care measure and the boy was moved to a foster family in 1995. The applicant was initially allowed to see his son once or sometimes twice a month in the children's home and subsequently once every other month; telephone contacts were also authorised. The applicant asked for the public care measure to be ended in September 1993 and again in January 1994, brought two sets of access proceedings and petitioned the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
The European Court found that no serious and sustained effort had been made by the social welfare authority to facilitate family reunification throughout the many years the boy was in care. Furthermore, it found that the severe restrictions on the applicant's right to visit his son reflected the social welfare authority's intention to strengthen the ties between the boy and his foster carers rather than to reunite the applicant and his son.
I. Payment of just satisfaction and individual measures
a) Details of just satisfaction
The Court awarded no just satisfaction.
b) Individual measures
The applicant's son attained his majority in late 2005.
II. General measures
This case presents similarities with that of K. and T. against Finland (closed with Resolution CM/ResDH(2006)50 adopted on 2 November 2006 at the 976th meeting) and that of K.A. against Finland (closed with Resolution CM/ResDH(2007)34 adopted on 20 April 2007 at the 992nd meeting) in the context of which the Finnish authorities have adopted several measures to regulate in more detail contacts between a child placed in public care and his or her parents.
The judgment of the European Court has been published in the Finlex database. A summary of the judgment in Finnish has been published in the same database. Moreover, the judgment has been sent out to the relevant national authorities.
III. Conclusions of the respondent state
The government considers that the measures adopted will prevent similar violations and that Finland has thus complied with its obligations under Article 46, paragraph 1, of the Convention.
1 Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 3 December 2009 at the 1072nd meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies