Adopted grandchildren entitled to succession
The court was asked whether the adopted children whose adopting father, the son of the testator, were grandchildren of the testator for the purposes of his will.
Held: The claim succeeded. The defendants, the other beneficiaries were not entitled to inherit the part of their father’s estate that derived from the will. The court had to respect the claimants’ Convention right under article 14 in conjunction with article 8 of the Convention not to be discriminated against by the application of a legislative provision which caused the ambiguous reference in the testator’s will to his grandchildren to be construed as excluding them as his adopted grandchildren: ‘to apply the HRA in combination with the wording of the will is not, in my judgment, truly a retrospective application of the HRA. Following the coming into force of the HRA, if the question of whether a beneficiary in the will has children or not arises for consideration, that question must be addressed having regard to the HRA as well as having regard to the wording of the will. Under domestic legislation, the answer is that the adopted children are not included. But that must now be read in a way which is compliant with the rights that adopted children have not to be discriminated against by domestic legislation because of their adopted status.’
 EWHC 533 (Ch),  WLR(D) 198,  3 WLR 559,  2 FLR 1565,  WTLR 495,  Ch 449
European Convention of Human Rights 8 14, Adoption of Children Act 1926, Adoption of Children Act 1949, Adoption Act 1976, Adoption and Children Act 2002
England and Wales
Cited – Marckx v Belgium ECHR 13-Jun-1979
Recognition of illegitimate children
The complaint related to the manner in which parents were required to adopt their own illegitimate child in order to increase his rights. Under Belgian law, no legal bond between an unmarried mother and her child results from the mere fact of birth. . .
Cited – Larkos v Cyprus ECHR 18-Feb-1999
The applicant had rented a house from the government, but was ordered to vacate the house following revocation of his tenancy. Because he had been a tenant of the government he was not, under domestic law, entitled to the security which he would . .
Cited – Mazurek v France ECHR 1-Feb-2000
ECHR Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 14+P1-1; Not necessary to examine Art. 14+8; Pecuniary damage – financial award; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses partial . .
Cited – Wilson v First County Trust (2) CA 2-May-2001
Rules under the Act which precluded a party from any recovery for non-compliance with its provisions were disproportionate, and a denial of the human right of the lender to a fair trial, and a declaration of incompatibility was made. A pawnbroker’s . .
Cited – Wilson v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry; Wilson v First County Trust Ltd (No 2) HL 10-Jul-2003
The respondent appealed against a finding that the provision which made a loan agreement completely invalid for lack of compliance with the 1974 Act was itself invalid under the Human Rights Act since it deprived the respondent of its property . .
Cited – Pla and Puncernau v Andorra ECHR 13-Jul-2004
A will made by a widow in 1939, left certain property to her son Francesc-Xavier, as tenant for life, with a stipulation that he was to leave this inheritance to a son or grandson of a lawful and canonical marriage, failing which the estate was to . .
Cited – Fabris v France [GC] ECHR 7-Feb-2013
ECHR (Grand Chamber) Article 14
Difference in treatment of legitimate and illegitimate children for succession purposes: violation
Facts – The applicant was born in 1943 of a . .
Cited – Secretary of State for Social Security v Tunnicliffe CA 1991
Staughton LJ explained the presumption against interpretation of a statute to have retrospective effect: ‘the true principle is that Parliament is presumed not to have intended to alter the law applicable to past events and transactions in a manner . .
Cited – In re McKerr (Northern Ireland) HL 11-Mar-2004
The deceased had been shot by soldiers of the British Army whilst in a car in Northern Ireland. The car was alleged to have ‘run’ a checkpoint. The claimants said the investigation, now 20 years ago, had been inadequate. The claim was brought under . .
Cited – Horsham Properties Group Ltd v Clark and Another ChD 8-Oct-2008
The court was asked whether section 101 of the 1925 Act infringes the Convention rights of residential mortgagors by allowing mortgagees to overreach the mortgagor by selling the property out of court, without first obtaining a court order either . .
Cited – Horncastle and Others, Regina v SC 9-Dec-2009
Each defendant said they had not received a fair trial in that the court had admitted written evidence of a witness he had not been allowed to challenge. The witnesses had been victims, two of whom had died before trial. It was suggested that the . .
Cited – Re Erskine 1948 Trust ChD 29-Mar-2012
The trust was created in 1948, and provided gifts over, which had now failed. The court considered the construction of the term ‘stautory next of kin’. The possible beneficiaries claimed through being adopted, arguing that at the date of the last . .
Cited – Abbott v Minister for Lands PC 30-Mar-1895
(From the Supreme Court for New South Wales) When considering what was a ‘vested right’ for the purposes of applying the presumption against retrospectivity of statutes affecting such rights, to convert a mere right existing in the members of the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Wills and Probate, Adoption, Human Rights
Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.581328