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Press release issued by the Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights

Cases of Z. and Others v. the United Kingdom and T.P. & K.M. v. the United Kingdom referred to the European Court of Human Rights

Two cases concerning local authority liability in child protection matters have been referred to the European Court of Human Rights.

The cases of Z. and Others v. the United Kingdom and T.P. & K.M. v. the United Kingdom have been referred to the Court by the European Commission of Human Rights under Article 5 § 4 of Protocol No. 11 to the European Convention on Human Rights. The Commission reports in these cases, adopted on 10 September 1999, are today being made public.

Z. and Others v. the United Kingdom

Z. and Others v. the United Kingdom concerns allegations from five siblings, all severely neglected and mistreated by their parents, that Bedfordshire County Council failed to take effective measures to protect them and that they had no access to a court or an effective remedy, in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. They complain under Articles 3 (right not be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment), 6 (right to a fair trial), 8 (right to respect for family life) and 13 (right to an effective remedy).

In its report, the Commission expressed the opinion that there had been a violation of Articles 3 and 6 and that no separate issues arose under Articles 8 and 13.

T.P. & K.M. v. the United Kingdom

T.P. & K.M. v. the United Kingdom concern the allegations of a mother (T.P.) and her child (K.M), who were separated when the London Borough of Newham took K.M. into care on the mistaken assumption that the man who had abused K.M. was still living with T.P.

The applicants complain of an unjustified interference with their family life under Article 8 of the Convention, that they had no access to a court (Article 6) or an effective remedy to deal with the situation (Article 13).

In its report, the Commission expressed the opinion that there had been a violation of Article 8, that there had been a violation of Article 6 in relation to K.M. but not T.P., that there had been a violation of Article 13 in relation to T.P. and that no separate issue arose under Article 13 concerning K.M.

The cases will be examined by a panel of the Court’s Grand Chamber, which will decide whether they should be heard by a chamber of seven judges or by a Grand Chamber of 17 judges.


Registry of the European Court of Human Rights
F – 67075 Strasbourg Cedex
Contacts: Roderick Liddell (telephone: (0)3 88 41 24 92)
or Emma Hellyer (telephone: (0)3 90 21 42 15)
Fax: (0)3 88 41 27 91

The European Court of Human Rights was set up in 1959 in Strasbourg to deal with alleged violations of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. On 1 November 1998 a permanent Court was established, replacing the original two-tier system of a part-time Commission and Court.

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