(T2ANSL4TION) THE FACTS T'hefacts of the case, as they have been sub initted, may be summarised as follow:;. T'he applicants, all Belgian nationals, are the following : 1) Lucile Marie DE MOT, resident in Brussels, who is represente(t by the second and third applicans, 2) Pauline SLOSSE, chemist, resident in Brussels ,3)Alain DE MOT, evommercial engineer, resideni in Brussels , 4) Cécile GHEUDE, social worker, resident in Brussels, 5) Pierre SLOSSE, lawyer, resident in Brussels , 6) Nlicheline HEILPCïRN, unemployed, resident in Bmssels, 7) Jean DE MOT, commercial engineer, resiclent in Brussels . They are represented before the Commissicn by : Mr. Johan VANDEN EYNDE, Mrs. Carine HIRSCH and Mr . Pierre STIDQLfART of the Brussels Bar. The first applicant was born in Ancledecht on 19 January 1982 . The second applicant officially recognised the first before the registration officer in Anderlccht, on 2 March 1982, and the third applicant cfficially recognised her on 23 February 1982 . The fourth and fifth applicants are the maternal grandparents of ifie first applicsnt . The sixth and seventh applicants are the paternal grandparents of the first applicant . The applicants consider themselves to be victims ot'violations of the Conven- Ition resulting from the effects undcr Belgian law of the "illegitimate" status of Luoile Marie De Mot (tbe first applicant) on the establishment oï her maternal and paternal filiatio:i, on the extent of her family relationships aud on the patrimonial rights of the various applicants. - ~With regard to the establishment of the nwternal filiation of Luei[e Marie De iNo t (the first applicmat) Under Belgan law, the maternal filiation of an "illegitimate" child is established neither by his birth alone, nor even by the obligatory entry of the mother's name on tlie birth certificate, (Article 57 of the Civil Code) . Anicles 334 and .341a !of the Civil Code require either voluntary recognition or a court declaration as t o 215 maternity. On the other hand, under Article 319 of the Civil Code, the filiation of a married woman's child is proved simply by the birth certificate . In Belgian law, children born out the wedlock can establish their maternal' filiation only by bringing an action for that purpose (Articles 341a, 341c of the Civil' Code) ("action en recherche de maternité") .With regard to the establishment of Lucile Marie De Mot's paternal filiation : Under Belgian law (Articles 334 ff. of the Civil Code), the father must recognise his daughter before the registration officer, and this recognition may be , contested by anyone with an interest in so doing (Article 339 of the Civil Code) . i Descent from a "legitimate" father may, not, however, be contested by anyone . The presumption of "legitimate" patemity is irrebuttable, unless the lawful father brings an action disclaiming paternity .With regard to the extent in law of Lucile Marie De Mot's family relationships : Under Belgian law, a`9egitimate" child is fully integrated from the moment, of his birth into the family ofFeach of hisparents, whereas a recognised "illegitimate" child, and even an adopted "illegitimate" child, remains in principle â stranger to hisparents' families. If his parents are no longer alive, herequires the consent of his guardian to marry before the age of 21, and not, like a legitimate child ; the consent of his grandparents (Article 159 of the Civil Code) . No maintenance obligations exist between the child and the grandparents . Lucile Marie De Mot has no legal bond with her grandparents (the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh applicants) ipso jure. With regard to the patrimonial rights of the applicants : The Civil Code limits the rights of a child born out of wedlock and his parénts aitd' grandparents in respect of gifts inter vivos and monis causa and intestate suF cession (Articles 338, 724, 756r758, 760, 761, 769-773 and 913 of the Civil Code) .- Until his recognition, a child born out of wedlock has no rights of succession in the estates of his parents . On being recognised, he merely acquires the status of an "exceptional" heir ("successeur irrégulier") . Moreover, he has no claim on the estates of his grandparents . _Hemayreceivefromhisparentsbygiftorlegacynomorethanhisentitlement under thetitle "Inheritance on Intestacy" in the Civil Code (Article 908) . A "legitimate" child, on the other hand, has the status of presumed heir ("héritiei présomptif") to his parents and grandparents . There are no restrictions, on his capacity to receive by gift or legacy . 216 Once they have recogn.ised their chi:ld, "illegitimate" parents may make pro- ~vision 5or Ihim only to a limited extent, whereas "legitimate" parents'are subject to no such restrictions . As grandpai-ents have no legal bord with illegitimate grandsons or granddaughters, gifts inter vivos or monis causa to such grandchildren are taxed at the rate applying between unrelated persons and not at that applying between ascendants and direct descendants, as in the case of "legitimate" cltildren .COMF'LAINT S The c.ompla-mts may be summarised as follow s The applicants allege ttiat there has been a violation of Article 8 of the Conven- !Ition, taken alone, of Article 14 in conjunction with Artic,le 8, and of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No . 1 .1 . R'ith regard to the establishment of niaternal fihation, they allege that the child and her mother have been the vic[ims of a violation of Article 8, taken alone, and of Arti.le 14 in conjunctlon with Article 8 . Under present legislation, the mother (the second applicant) was obliged to recognise trer dau;hter officially . In so doing, she prejudiced her, since her capacity to makr, bequests or gifts of lrer property to her is resericted (Article 908 of the Civil Code). To have retained the possibility of making provision in favour of her daughter, she would have had to refrain from establishing any legal family bond with her, as will be explained below . This dilemma violates the very principle of "respect" for private life, and thus Article B of the Convention (see Eur . CouiŸ H. R., Markcz judgment of 13 June 1979, Series A no . 31, p . 16, para. 36). Moreover, the difference in treatinent between an "illegitimate" ancl a "legitimate" motlter has absolutely no objective and reasonable justification . The second applicant is thus the victint of a violation of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 of the C'onvention (op. .4t., p . :20, para . 43). Furthermore, the restrictions inhereut in the requirement tc bring an action. to 'establish maternal filiation constitute a lacl: of respect for the private life of the child bom out of wedlock, who was legally motherless from 19 February to 1 March 19132, and thus vïtolate Article 8 of the Convention (op. ci.., p. 17, para. 37). There is no objective and reasonable justification for this differencé in treatment between illegitimate and legitimate children, which thus violates Article 14 in conjunction with Artiele 8 of the Convenüion (op. cdt., p. 20, para. 43).2 . 2 . W'ith regard to the establishment of paternal filiation, the applicants allage that there has been a violation of Article 8, taken alone, and of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8, with respect to the child and her father . 217 Recognition is by no means sufficient to ensure that the father (the third applicant) can enjoy his paternal bond with his daughter undisturbed . In fact, his recognition may be contested by anyone, even by the public prosecutor. Any other man may also lodge a rival claim, recognising the child as his . At any stage, the father . thus mns the risk of having to face claims or accusations from possibly ill-intentione dpersons . - This state of insecurity is incompatiblewith the notion of "respect" for private and family life, and thus violates Article 8 of the Convention .Infact,noonemaycontestthepatemityofa"legitimate"father . The presumption of "legitimate" paternity is irrebuttable, unless the legal-father brings a nactiondisclaimingpatemity . There is no objective and reasonable justification for the distinction made between the status of "legitimate" and "illegitimate" fathers, andthis distinctio nthusviolatesArticle14inconjunctionwith8oftheConvention . Once her father had recognised her, Lucile Marie De Mot was given his nationality and name . Were anyone to contest this recognition, she would lose both and again be given her mother's name and nationality . If subsequently recognised by a third party, she would assume the name of that third party . This insecurity violates respect for private and family life, and thus the provisions of Article 8 of the Convention . This discrimination between illegitimate and legifimate children is entirely unjustified, and thus constitutes a violation of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 of the Convention .3 . With regard to the extent in law of Lucile Marie De Mot's family relationships , the applicants allege that theré has been a'violation of Article 8, taken alone, and of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8, with respect to the child and her grandparents . I Belgian law automatically deprives Lucile Marie De Mot of any legal bond with her grandparents (thefourth, fifth, sixth and seventh appliçants), to whom she i sdeplyatached . This means that, in law, she has no grandparents .TheCourthasruled(op . cit., p. 21, para. 45) that "family life" within th é meaning of Article 8 certainly includes-the ties between near relatives, and thus the ~ ties between grandparents and grandchildren . Respect for family life implies that a person's family relationships must b ealowedtodevelopnormaly . Belgian law prevents family.life from developing normally and Lucile Marie De Mot must therefore be regarded as the victim of a violation of Article 8 of the Convention . 218 There. is ne objective and reasonable justification for this discrintinatiion between a granddaughter born out of wedlock and a g rand~iaughte r born in wedla .k, which therefore violates Article 14 in conjunetion with Article 8 of the Convention . As for the grandparents (the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh applicants), Belgian law deprives thenr of any legal bond with their granddaughter, to whom they are deeply attached. In their view, Belgian law violates respect for fiunily life arid thus Article 8 of the Convention . There is no objective and reasonable justification for the distinctiou made between the situation of "legitiinate" and "illegitimate" grandparents, which constitutes a violacion of Article 14 in conjunction with Artiele 8 of the Convention . 4 . As for their patrimonied rights, the applicants allege : a violation of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8, with respect to the child ; - a violation of .Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8, and Artiele 14 in çonjunctiort with Article I of Protocol No . 1, with regard to the parents and grandparents . Uitil recogtùsed by her parents, Lucile Marie De Mot had no rights of succession in their estates . I-.taving been recognised, she inerely acquired the status of an `exceptional heir" ("successeur in-égulier") . She has, moreover, rio legal claim cn her grandparents' estates . She may receive by gift or legacy from lier parents no more than her entitlement under the title "Inheritance on Intést3cy" in the Civil C'ode (Article 908 of the . Civil Code) . If born in wedlock, however, she would have, had die status of presamed heir (heritière présomptive) to her parents and gremdparents and there would have been no restrictions on her capacity to ieceive by gift or legacy . Ttiere is no objective and reasonable justification for this discrimination between illegitimate and legitiml children, which constitutes a violation of A.rticle 14 in conjunetion with Artiele 8 of the Convention (op. cit., p. 26, para. 59) . Having recognised Lucile Marie De Mot, the second and third applicants have ônly limited capacity to malce provision for their daughter, whereas °legi?imate" parents are subject to no restrictions in this,area . There is no objective and reasonable justification for this ilistinction betwé:en the capacity of "legitimate" and "illegitimate" parents, which thus constitutes a violation of Article 14 inconjunetion with Article 8 of the Convention (op. cit., p. 27, para. 62) . This restriction on capacity also violates Article 1 of Protocol No. 1, which guarantees in substance the right to property, and thus the right to dispose freely of property, as weli_ as Article 14 of the Convention in conjunetion with Atticle 1 of Protocol No. 1(bp. cit, p. 28, para. 65). 219 Since the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh applicants have no legal bond wit hLucileMarieDeMot,anygiftsorlegacieswhichtheymaketoheraretaxedathe rate applying between unrelated persons, and not at the rate applying between direct ascendants and descendants, as in the case of children born in wedlock . There is no objective or reasonable justification for this distinction, which thus constitutes aviolationofArticle14inconjunctionwith8oftheConventionandArticle 1 of Protocol No . 1 . The applicants are seeking fair compensation for the damage which they have suffered . THE LAW 1 . The applicants allege that certain provisions in the Belgian Civil Code governing the status of children bom out of wedlock, and more particularly those dealing with the establishment of maternal and patemal filiation and the legal extent of the family relationships of such children and those dealing with the children's rights of intestate succession and rights to receive gifts and legacies, discriminate against 'childreninthiscategory,suchasLucileMarieDeMot(thefirstaplicant) . They further allege that these provisions constitute unwarranted interference , with the private and family life 6f thè unmarried mother and the father (the second' and third applicants) and the grandparents (the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh applicants), as well as an infringement of their right to enjoyment of possessions . ~ They also argue that both Lucile Marie De Mot and her parents and grand- 'parentsarethevictimsofdiscriminationresultingfromtheprovisionscomplainedof . They allege, with reference to the above, that there has been a violation o fArticle8oftheConvention,takenalone,andofArticle14,takeninconjunctionwith,. Article 8 of the Convention and Articlè I of Protocol No. 1, and also the latter on, its own .2 . The Commission notes at once that this application, concerning the position i n Belgian law of children born out of wedlock, is similar in many respects to a case~ previously examined by the European Commission and Court of Human Rightsi which resulted in the Marckx judgment (Eur . Court H.R., Marckx judgment of , 13 June 1979, Series A no . 31) . In the light of the Court's judgment in the Marckx case, the Commission will thus start by examining the applicants' complaints concerning the establishment of maternal filiation, the legal extent of the family relationships of a child born out of wedlock, and finallÿ the patrimonial rights of applicants (the unmarried mother and, the grandparents) in respect of the child born out of wedlock .20 Under Belgian law (Articles 334 and331a of the Civil Code), the maternal 1 filiation of an "illegitimate" chilcl is established eittier by voluritary recognition or by a court declaration as to ntaternity ; under Article ?119 of the Civil Code, however, I inclusion of the birth certificate in the Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths is enough to prove the fdiation of a . marrie,d woman's child . Moreover, ihe only way in which a child born out of wedlôck can establish maternity is by bsinging an action for tha¢ purpose (Articles 341 a-341c of the C'ivil Code), whereas no such procedure is necessary for the child of a married woman . The applica.nts argue that this system constitutes a violation of Article 8 of the Conveition, taken alone and in conjunction with Article 14, with regard to the mother and the child. The Government refer to th,, principles established by the Marckxjudgment, ~ and partieularly the principle mater semper certa est. They accept this, and regard the application as admissible onlhis matter . Moreover, under Belgian lacv, while a child boin in wedlock is fully integrated I from the momeni. of his birth into the farnily of each of his parents, this ia not the case with an "illegitimate" child who, wtien recognised and even adopted, remains in principle a stranger to hi.s parents' farnilies .TheapplicantsregardthissituatioinasincompatiblewithArticle 8 of the Convention, taken alone and in conjunction with Artiele. 14. The Government refer to the Marckx judgment, partieular,l.y with reference to the maternal graridparents, and re ~gard the applicatian as admissible on this matter . Finally, the Belgian Civil Code restricts, to varying degrees, the rights o f illegitimate child :;en and unmarried mothers in intestate succession, and with gifts inter vivos or moi4is causa (Articles 338, 324, 756-758, '760, 761, 769-773 and 913 of the Civil Code,) . Until his recognition, a child born cut of wedlock has no rights of succession in his mother's estate . On being recognised, he merely acquires the status ot' an "exceptional heir" ("successeur irrégulier") . He has no rights of succession in the estate of his mother's family. Moreover, his mother may make bequests'or gifts to him only within the limits prescribed in the title "Inheritance on Intestacy" (Article 908). On the other hand, the law confers on "legitimate" children from birth, or even canception,all the patrimonial rights of which it deprivrs Lucile Nlarie De Mot ; it does not restrict the right of married women to dispose of their property, as it does that of the mother of Lucile Nlarie De Mot. In the applietints' view, this system constitutes a violation of Article l4 taken Iin conjunction with -Ar6cle 8 of the Convéntion, veith regard to the child, aufl a breach of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 of the Convention and with Article_ 1 of Protocol No. I with regard to the mother and the grandparerits . 221 The Government again refer to the Marckx judgment, and consider the appli ;: cation admissible on these matters. It is now up to the Commission to decide whether, having regard to the Court's decision in the Marckx case (op. cit., pp. 16 and 17, paras. 36 and 37 ; pp. 18-20,', paras. 38-43 ; pp. 21 and 22, paras . 45-48 ; pp. 22-26, paras. 49-59 ; pp. 27 and 28,' paras. 61-65), Belgian law, as applied in this case, violates the above provisions of, the Convention . . . . In the light of a preliminary examination of the parties' arguments, of its own case-law and of the case-law of the Court, it considers that theapplicaâts' complaints, raise problems of interpretation sufficiently complex and iùtportant to require an examination of the merits of the case, and thus that the application cannot be declared manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para . 2 of the Convention. 3. The second series of complaints raised by the_applicants concerns the way in which paternal filiation is established, and the effects of that procedure on thé relationship between the child, Lucile Marie De Mot, andtrér paternal grandparents : The applicants consider that both Lucile Marie De Mot and her father and grandparents are the victims of interference with their private and family life, and of humiliation and discrimination, violating Article 8, taken alone and in conjunction with Article 14 of the Convention . More specifically, they complain of the provision in Belgian law whictï requires voluntary or judicial recognition and which, under Article 339 of the Civil~ Code, is open to challenge by anyone, including the public prosecutor . The applicants argue that this situation creates a legal insecurity'which infringésthe very concept of "respect for private- and family life", enshrined in Article 8 of the Convention. Here, the applicants point out that Lucile Marie De Mot was given her father's nationality and name on being recognised by him . Were this recognition to bé challenged later, she would lose her father's name and nationality and again be given those of her mother, and, if subsequently recognised by a third party, would take that third party's name . The applicants see discrimination in the fact that the "illegitimate" paternit y may be challenged, whereas the presumption of "legitimate" patertiity is irrebut=' table, unless the presumed father brings an action disclaiming paternity . The applicants claim that . there is absolutely no objective and reasonablé justification for this distinction between the status of an "illegitimate" father and child and the status of a'9egitimate" father and child, which is thus discriminatory and a violation of Articles 14 and 8 of the Convention .2 The Belgiari Government justify the distinction made between the status off an "illegitimate" falher and the status of a"legitimate" father on the ground, firstly, that it derives from the absence of a marriage and, secondly, that"illegitimate" filiation cannot be establislted in practice unless the father recognises the child . Moreover, since voluntary recoguition is not officially verified . it is logical that it should be open bo challenge by faird parties . T'he Commission has considered this part of the application with reference to Articles8 and 14 of the Convention, which provide as follows :Article8 : "1 . Everyone has the right to respect for his pirivate and family life, his home and lvs correspondence. 2 . There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and . is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of uational security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedloms of others . " Article 14 : "The enjoyment of the, righis and freedoms set forth in this Conven tion shall be secured wi thout discrimination on any groand such as sex, race, colour, hmguage, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, assxiation with a national minoriry, prope rty, birth or other status. " T'he Commission takes the view that the fotmal procedures for voluntary 1 recognitio n by the, father of a child born out of wedlock or, failing this, a court mling ' on paternity are normal and reasonable requirements . In the absence of marriage ties between tlhe unniarried mother and the presumed father, a formal procedure to establish paternity is in fact necessary . To the extent that this requirement may be regarded as interfering with the private and/or family life of the people concerned, it is thus jnstified, under Article °8 para . 2 of the Convention, as being necessary in a democratic society for the I proteclion of the rights and freedoms of others . Since the requirement is both objectiveand reasonable, it does not violate Article 14 in conjunetion with Article 8 of theConvention. This part of the applicatior must accordingly be rejected under Article 27 para: 2 of the Convention as being manifestly ill-founded . 4: Finally, the applicants point out that gifts received b;y an illegitimate child from grandpatents are taxed at the rate applying to unrelated persons, and not at the )rate ' applying to direct ascendants and descendants, as in the case of legitimate ehildren . 1223 They argue that there is no objective and reasonable justification for this distinction, which therefore violates Article 14 of the Convention in conjunction with Article L of Protocol No. 1 . With regard to this complaint, the Government point out that a bill has been tabled in Parliament, removing all fiscal discrimination in relation to gifts and legacies received by children . In the light of an initial examination of the parties' arguments, the Commission considers that this complaint also raises complex and important questions of inter -pretation,calingforanexaminationofthemerits,andthusthathe application cannot, on this point, be declared manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of . Article 27 para. 2 of the Convention . For these reasons the Commission, without prejudging the merits of the case, DECLARES ADMISSIBLE the applicants' complaint concerning the way in which the paternal filiation of a child botn out of wedlock is established ; DECLARES INADMISSIBLE the remainder of the application . 224