(Application no. 35141/06)
15 March 2012
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Levin v. Sweden,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
André Potocki, judges,
and Claudia Westerdiek, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 7 February 2012,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
2. The applicant, who had been granted legal aid, was represented by Ms B. Wallman, a lawyer practising in Örebro. The Swedish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr B. Sjöberg, of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
3. The applicant alleged a breach of Article 8 of the Convention in relation to the contact restrictions following the taking into public care of her three children.
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
A. Background and taking into public care
B. Contact restrictions
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 8 OF THE CONVENTION
“1. Everyone has the right to respect for his ... family life ...
2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”
1. Parties’ submissions
(a) The applicant
(b) The Government
2. The Court’s assessment
60. Still, the Court reiterates that, following any removal into care, stricter scrutiny is called for in respect of any further limitations by the authorities, for example on parental rights or contact, as such further restrictions entail the danger that the family relations between the parents and a young child are effectively curtailed (see Johansen v. Norway, cited above, § 64, and Kutzner v. Germany, cited above, § 67).
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT
Done in English, and notified in writing on 15 March 2012, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Claudia Westerdiek Dean Spielmann Registrar President
In accordance with Article 45 § 2 of the Convention and Rule 74 § 2 of the Rules of Court, the separate opinion of Judge Power-Forde is annexed to this judgment.
DISSENTING OPINION OF JUDGE POWER-FORDE
1 A family home (familjehem) is responsible for providing the daily care of the child. However the primary responsibility for the child lies with the social authorities and important decisions concerning the child are made jointly by the social authorities, the biological parents and the family home parents.