A father, whose son was abducted to Ukraine by his mother after divorce, has won the backing today of Strasbourg judges.
The case M.R. and D.R. v. Ukraine (no. 63551/13) was brought by M.R. and D.R., father and son, were born in 1958 and 2004 respectively. M.R. is a Czech national who lives in Prague.
The complaint concerned D.R.’s abduction by his Ukrainian mother following his parents’ divorce in 2007.
In October 2009, M.R. brought proceedings in Ukraine against his former wife for the return of his son under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
In July 2010, the Ukrainian courts ordered the child’s return to his father in the Czech Republic.
However, this order has still not been enforced, despite fines imposed by the bailiffs on the mother, and their visits to the child’s school and place of residence.
Furthermore, the Ukrainian courts have since decided that it was in the child’s best interests to continue to live with the mother, given that the child has adapted well to living in Ukraine.
In the meantime, the Czech authorities have granted M.R. sole custody of his son.
Relying on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), M.R. complained, on his own behalf and on behalf of his son, that the Ukrainian authorities had failed to ensure the return of his son to the Czech Republic.
Violation of Article 8
Just satisfaction: EUR 8,000 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 1,526 (costs and expenses) to M.R.