European Convention on Human Rights – article 8 – child care proceedings
The failure of the local authority to allow the mother of a child removed into care by the authority to view a videotaped interview with the child was a breach of article 8. The removal of the child into care was a proportionate and justified interference with the article 8 right to respect for family life, as was the use of the emergency procedure. Notwithstanding that the initial measure was justified, the positive obligation on Contracting States to protect the interests of the family required that video material be made available to the parent concerned, even in the absence of any request by the parent. If there were doubts as to whether this posed a risk to the welfare of the child, the matter should have been submitted to the court by the local authority at the earliest possible stage in the proceedings. The authority’s failure to submit the issue to the court for determination deprived the applicant of an adequate involvement in the decision-making process concerning the care of her child and, in this respect, amounted to a breach of article 8 of the Convention.