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. A recognised ‘illegitimate’ child’s rights of inheritance on intestacy are less than those of a ‘legitimate’ child.
Held: The Belgian system infringed the right to private and family life by reducing inheritance rights for illegitimate children. The object of Article 8 is to protect the individual against arbitrary interference by the public authorities. Nevertheless, it does not merely compel the State to abstain from such interference: in addition to this primarily negative undertaking, there may be positive obligations inherent in an effective ‘respect’ for family life. Where there are no property rights which pre-exist the interference complained of, the article is not engaged. Family life ‘includes at least the ties between near relatives, for instance, those between grandparents and grandchildren, since such relatives play a considerable part in family life.’ Article 8 makes no distinction between the legitimate and illegitimate family.
Sir Gerald Fitzmaurice described the scope of article 8: ‘The emphasis is on the person’s home as a place where he is entitled to be free from arbitrary interference by the public authorities’

Sir Gerald Fitzmaurice
6833/74, (1979) 2 EHRR 330, [1979] ECHR 2
Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 1P 8 A14
Human Rights
Citing:
FollowedHandyside v The United Kingdom ECHR 7-Dec-1976
The appellant had published a ‘Little Red Schoolbook’. He was convicted under the 1959 and 1964 Acts on the basis that the book was obscene, it tending to deprave and corrupt its target audience, children. The book claimed that it was intended to . .

Cited by:
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CitedGhaidan v Godin-Mendoza CA 5-Nov-2002
The applicant sought to succeed to the tenancy of his deceased homosexual partner as his partner rather than as a member of his family.
Held: A court is bound by any decision within the normal hierachy of domestic authority as to the meaning . .
DistinguishedInze v Austria ECHR 28-Oct-1987
Art 14 was engaged in respect of discrimination over future interests despite Marckx. The case turned on what singular provisions of Austrian inheritance law, whereby the illegitimate claimant had some, but incomplete, rights on his mother’s . .
CitedHollins v Russell etc CA 22-May-2003
Six appeals concerned a number of aspects of the new Conditional Fee Agreement.
Held: It should be normal for a CFA, redacted as necessary, to be disclosed for costs proceedings where a success fee is claimed. If a party seeks to rely on the . .
CitedAHE Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust v A and Others (By Their Litigation Friend, the Official Solicitor), The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority B, B QBD 26-Feb-2003
An IVF treatment centre used sperm from one couple to fertilise eggs from another. This was discovered, and the unwilling donors sought a paternity declaration.
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CitedCarson and Reynolds v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 17-Jun-2003
The claimant Reynolds challenged the differential treatment by age of jobseeker’s allowance. Carson complained that as a foreign resident pensioner, her benefits had not been uprated. The questions in each case were whether the benefit affected a . .
CitedWilson 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 . .
CitedLondon Borough of Harrow v Qazi HL 31-Jul-2003
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CitedM v London Borough of Islington and Another CA 2-Apr-2004
The applicant asylum seeker had had her application refused, and was awaiting a removal order. She had a child and asked the authority to house her pending her removal.
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Former HL decision in Siebe Gorman overruled
The company had become insolvent. The bank had a debenture and claimed that its charge over the book debts had become a fixed charge. The preferential creditors said that the charge was a floating charge and that they took priority.
Held: The . .
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The various claimants sought to challenge the 2004 Act by way of judicial review on the grounds that it was ‘a disproportionate, unnecessary and illegitimate interference with their rights to choose how they conduct their lives, and with market . .
CitedSmith v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Another HL 12-Jul-2006
The House considered whether under the 1992 Regulations a self-employed parent could use for his child support calculation his net earnings as declared to the Revenue, which would allow deduction of capital and other allowances properly claimed . .
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The applicants complained that as an unmarried couple they had been excluded from consideration as adopters.
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The claimant challenged the respondent’s decision to order the return of herself and her son to Lebanon.
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(Northern Ireland) Children had been taken to school in the face of vehement protests from Loyalists. The parents complained that the police had failed to protect them properly, since the behaviour was so bad as to amount to inhuman or degrading . .
CitedPearce v Mayfield School CA 31-Jul-2001
The claimant teacher was a lesbian. She complained that her school in failed to protect her against abuse from pupils for her lesbianism. She appealed against a decision that the acts of the pupils did not amount to discrimination, and that the . .
CitedPearce v Mayfield School CA 31-Jul-2001
The claimant teacher was a lesbian. She complained that her school in failed to protect her against abuse from pupils for her lesbianism. She appealed against a decision that the acts of the pupils did not amount to discrimination, and that the . .
CitedL, Regina (On the Application of) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis SC 29-Oct-2009
Rebalancing of Enhanced Disclosure Requirements
The Court was asked as to the practice of supplying enhanced criminal record certificates under the 1997 Act. It was said that the release of reports of suspicions was a disproportionate interference in the claimants article 8 rights to a private . .
CitedIn re A (A Minor) FD 8-Jul-2011
An application was made in care proceedings for an order restricting publication of information about the family after the deaths of two siblings of the child subject to the application. The Sun and a local newspaper had already published stories . .
CitedA v P (Surrogacy: Parental Order: Death of Applicant) FD 8-Jul-2011
M applied for a parental order under the 2008 Act. The child had been born through a surrogacy arrangement in India, which was lawful there, but would have been unlawful here. The clinic could not guarantee a biological relationship with the child. . .
CitedAXA General Insurance Ltd and Others v Lord Advocate and Others SC 12-Oct-2011
Standing to Claim under A1P1 ECHR
The appellants had written employers’ liability insurance policies. They appealed against rejection of their challenge to the 2009 Act which provided that asymptomatic pleural plaques, pleural thickening and asbestosis should constitute actionable . .
CitedSalvesen v Riddell and Another; The Lord Advocate intervening (Scotland) SC 24-Apr-2013
The appellant owned farmland tenanted by a limited partnership. One partner gave notice and the remaining partners indicated a claim for a new tenancy. He was prevented from recovering possession by section 72 of the 2003 Act. Though his claim had . .
CitedRecovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases (Wales) Bill (Reference By The Counsel General for Wales) SC 9-Feb-2015
The court was asked whether the Bill was within the competence of the Welsh Assembly. The Bill purported to impose NHS charges on those from whom asbestos related damages were recovered.
Held: The Bill fell outside the legislative competence . .
CitedT and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department and Another SC 18-Jun-2014
T and JB, asserted that the reference in certificates issued by the state to cautions given to them violated their right to respect for their private life under article 8 of the Convention. T further claims that the obligation cast upon him to . .
CitedHand and Another v George ChD 17-Mar-2017
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 . .
CitedBrewster, Re Application for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) SC 8-Feb-2017
Survivor of unmarried partner entitled to pension
The claimant appealed against the rejection of her claim to the survivor’s pension after the death of her longstanding partner, even though they had not been married. The rules said that she had to have been nominated by her partner, but he had not . .
CitedMcCann v The State Hospitals Board for Scotland SC 11-Apr-2017
A challenge by request for judicial review to the legality of the comprehensive ban on smoking at the State Hospital at Carstairs which the State Hospitals Board adopted. The appellant, a detained patient, did not challenge the ban on smoking . .
CitedHuman Rights Commission for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland : Abortion) SC 7-Jun-2018
The Commission challenged the compatibility of the NI law relating to banning nearly all abortions with Human Rights Law. It now challenged a decision that it did not have standing to bring the case.
Held: (Lady Hale, Lord Kerr and Lord Wilson . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Children, Adoption, Wills and Probate

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.164889