Airey v Ireland: ECHR 9 Oct 1979

Family law proceedings such as judicial separation do give rise to civil rights. In complex cases article 6 might require some provision for legal assistance, the precise form being a matter for the member state. The Court reiterated the importance of the right of access to a court, having regard to the prominent place held in a democratic society by the right to a fair trial.
There may be circumstances in which, without the assistance of a legally qualified representative, a litigant might be denied her Article 6 right to be able to present her case properly and satisfactorily. Ireland was in breach of Mrs. Airey’s Article 6 rights because it was not realistic to suppose that, in litigation of the type in which she was involved, she could effectively conduct her own case, despite the assistance which the judge affords to parties acting in person.


6289/73, Series A no 32, (1979) 2 EHRR 305, [1979] ECHR 3, (1980) 2 EHRR 305




European Convention on Human Rights 6


Human Rights

Cited by:

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See AlsoAirey v Ireland ECHR 6-Feb-1981
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CitedCampbell v MGN Ltd (No 2) HL 20-Oct-2005
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CitedMAK and RK v The United Kingdom ECHR 23-Mar-2010
When RK, a nine year old girl was taken to hospital, with bruises, the paediatrician wrongly suspecting sexual abuse, took blood samples and intimate photographs in the absence of the parents and without their consent.
Held: The doctor had . .
CitedMGN Limited v United Kingdom ECHR 18-Jan-2011
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CitedLopez Ostra v Spain ECHR 9-Dec-1994
A waste treatment plant was built close to the applicant’s home in an urban location and the plant released fumes and smells which caused health problems to local residents.
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CitedBryant and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v The Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis Admn 23-May-2011
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CitedQ v Q FD 21-May-2014
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CitedJordan, Re for Judicial Review SC 6-Mar-2019
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CitedOWD Ltd (T/A Birmingham Cash and Carry) and Another v Revenue and Customs SC 19-Jun-2019
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Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Legal Aid, Family

Updated: 08 April 2022; Ref: scu.164888