(TRANSLATION) THE FACTS The facts of the case, as they have been presented, may be summarised a sfolows . The applicants, who are Belgian nationals and reside in Belgium, at the same address (1702 Mollem, Ceuppenrij 24), are the following : 1 . Mathieu Jolie, represented by his mother, Chantal Jolie, born on 27 July 1979 (the first applicant) ;2 . Chantal Jolie (the second applicant) ; 3. Etienne Lebrun (the third applicant) . They are represented before the Commission by Mr . Johan Vanden Eynde of = the Brussels Bar . The second applicant had been married to Mr . G.W. since 18 January 1975, when she gave birth to the firstapplicant on 27 July 1979 ; at that time, she had been + separated from Mr . G.W. since the first half of 1978 .Consideringthathewasnotthefirstapplicant'sbiologicalfather,Mr . G.W. brought an action disclaiming patemiry before the competent court . This action was declared well-founded by the 9th Division of the Brussels District Court on 12 December 1979 . As a result of this decision, the first applicant became a child of an adulterou srelationship("enfantadultérin")inBelgianlaw . The second applicant had not sought a judicial settlement when she separate dfromMr . G . W. It was not until 21 May 1979 (first record of court proceedings i n connection with divorce by mutual consent - Article 1289 of the Belgian Judicial Code) that she instituted divorce proceedings . The third applicant states that he is the biological father of the first applicant, and wishes to have his biological paternity recognised in law . Article 335 of the Belgian Civil Code provides, however, that : "Children of an adulterous relationship ('enfants adultérins') may be recognised only in the cases and in the manner prescribed in Article 331 . Such , children shall have the status of ordinary illegitimate children . " Article 331 states that : "Children of an adulterous relationship ('enfants adultérins') may be legitimised only with the consent of a court, and only when the previous marriage has been terminated by divorce proceedings or judicial separation, and the chil d252 has been bcrn 300 davs after the record provided for in Article 125 9 of the Jndicial Code, or the declaration proLided for in Article 1289 of tlre same Code, or the beginning of de (acto sepaiation, if divarce has been granted under Article 1232 of the present Code. " Since the first applicant was born less than 300'days after 1he record provided for in Artiele 1258 of the Belgian Judicial Code or the declaration provided foz in Article 1289 of the same Code (1). the third applicant is unable tc establish his paternity in law . The law thus prohibits the frrst applicant from Iega).ly belonging to his ,biological and social family, based on a non-marital union . The three applicants and the second child of the sxond and third applicants fonn a farnily in the biologi.cal arld social sense of the term. The third applicant is entitled to recognise the second child . His doing sô would, however, dreate a dis-crintination between his two childrea, since both viould helong to thesame 1 biological and social family based on a non-marital union, but only one woulii belong legally to the third applicant's family . COMI'LA.INTS The applicants allege a viola:ion of Articles 8, 9, 12 and 14 of the Convention, taken nlone and in conjunction with each other. - 11. R.elated persons living under one roof, and specifically a father, mother and children, c,onstitate afamil .pin the accepted sense'of the term. According tothis I definiéon, the three applicants form a familybased on consanguinity and tlms on a non-marited union . The term "kinship" covers all those social rélationships resulting from cvnsanguiaity or nlarriage (J .P. Colleyn, "Eléments d'anthropologie sociale et culturelle", Bmssels, 1979, Ed . U.L.B., p. 63). (1) Arnde 1258 of rhe Belgian Jatiicial G,de (divouoe for a specified reason) . On the appointed day, the judge sh .dl make to the two spouses, if they both appear, or to the pedtioner, if only the petitione r I appears, such reptesentaaons as he eonsiders likety to effect a reconciliation .Intheeventofhisfailingtoeffectareconcitiation,heshalldnawuparecord,andshallorderthatth e petition and evidence be sent to the Public Prosecûtor, and the case refeaed m the court . . When appropriate, the judge stall enter in the said record the agréement of ihe paRies to provisional mea .:ures concemng the persou, mulntenance and pr(iperty of the children relèrred to in Aricie 1254 . If he, sees fit, he shall oUcialhy endorne this agreement . Arricle 1289 oïthe Belgian Judicial Coaé (divorce b~ mutual consent) . The spouses shall aPPe3r tog~ether inpe~rsonbeforenePreaidevtol'theDiehic[Covrtoftheirchoiceor@iejudgeeeeroisingthosefune[ :ons . Thep shall make before him a formal statement of their intentions I . . .1 .AsemendedbyL . I July 1 9 12, Artic?e 3 . 253 The applicants' right to found a family is guaranteed by Article 12 of the Convention ; this provision cannot be taken as restricting the right to found a family to the establishment of a family within a marriage. • 2. The founding of a family depends on the will of its members and on theif religious, philosophical or moral convictions . Article 9of-the Convention guarantees everyone the right to manifest his convictions in his daily life without unjustified discrimination. • ' Taken mgethei, Articles 9 and 12 of the Conveniton indicate that individuals' are entitled to form families in accordance with their convictions and without being subjected to discrimination . The fact that individuals are entitled to found families outside marriage in accordance with their convictions implies that filiation arising from such a f•amilÿ must be recognised in law as being equal to filiation stemming from marriage . The making of an unfair distinction between filiation arising from a family based on nonmarital union and filiation arising from marriage violates not only Articles 9 and 12 ; but also Article 8 . 3 . Article 8 of the Convention guarantees everyone the right to respect for hié private and family life. No public authority may interfere unjustifiably with the private life of the individual . The denial to filiation arising from non-marital union of the rights accorded to filiation arising from marriage constitutes unjustified interference by a public authority in private life . Belgian law obliges parents to choose between living in accordance with their religious, philosophical or moral convictions (and possibly being unable to secure legal status for their children in consequence) and agreeing to give their union the legal formdictated by the State, which may well be incom= patible with those convictions .4 . By creating this distinction, Belgian law violates Article 14 of the Convention , since it exposes children born into families based on a non-marital union to unjustified discrimination based on birth . The system introduced by Articles 331 and 335 of the Belgian Civil Code is even more serious, however, since the discrimination it creates in principle prevents the biological father from recognising his child when the mother is still married at the time of the child's birth and her husband is not the child's biological father . The Convention guarantees the right to respect for family life, and this protection extends to families based on a non-marital union . It obliges States to introduce protective machinery making it possible for children to be integrated,into their families from birth. This means that Articles 331 and 335 ofthe Belgian Civil Code are incompatible with the Convention . 254 }Jnder Bel€ ian law, the first applicant, who was born when his mother was still married, cannot be recognised by the third applicant. In other words, Belgian law creates a situation in which a child is necessarily and legally unrelated to his biologicall father . Under Articles 8 and 14 of the Convention, the child of an adulterous relationship ("enfant adultérin") has the fundarnental right to have his actual family ties formally recognised. Reaognitio :i of the first applicant by the third does not dnmage the l .gitimate interests of any third par!y and does not disturb, public order, since it simply recom.iles biological and legal riality . Articles 331 and 335 of the Belgian Civil Code introduce discrimination for which there is no objective and reasonable justification . ]:n summary, the system established by Articles 331 and 335 of the Belgian Civil Code not only prevents ttie first applicant from establishing his biological filiation, but alscr prevents all three applicants from founding a fàmily in accordance with their convictions, based on a non-marital union and recognised as being equal to a fiunïly based on marriage . 'Phis means, as far as the first applicant is concerned, that Articles 331 and 335 of the Belgian Civil Code create discrimination based principally on birth, which cannot be objectively and reasonably justified, since the third applicant is unable, in Belgicn law, to lead a normal and legally recognised family life with the third applicant . THE LAW 1 . 'Che applicants claim that certain provisions of the Belgian Civil Code govering the status of children of adrdterous relationships ("enfants adult6rins°), particularly those relating to the establishment of maternal and paternal fi~iation and the legal extent of the family of such children, constitute a °capitis diminutro" in respect of Mathieu Dolie (tlte first applicant) . They further maintairt that these provisions represent unjustifi ed interference with the private and family life of the parents (the second and third applicants) . ~ 'Phey also claim that both Mathieu Jolie and his parents are the victims of discrimination resulting from the provisions complained of . Pinally, they point out that the right of the second and thircl applicants to found 1 a family in accordance with their own wishes and their religious, philosophical and I moral convictions has not been respected in this case, and that they are also the victims off discrimination in this respect . 255 In connection with the above, they allege a violation of Article 8, taken alone ,ofArticles 14 and 8 taken in conjunction, and of Articles 9, 12 and 14 of the ? Convention in conjunctionwith one another . 2. Article 8 of the Convention states that : "1 . Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home : and his 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 sociery in the interests of national 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, freedoms of others. " The Commission considers that the right to respect for family life is not confined to "legitimate" families . It refers in this connection to its own case-law and to the judgment given by the European Court of Human Rights in the Marckx case (Eur. Court H .R., Marckx judgment of 13 June 1979, Series A no . 31) .Italsorecalsthat,inordertoascertainwhetherinagivencaseitisappropriat etospeakof"familylife"withinthemeaningofArticle8,ithasconsiderednotonly whether the persons concerned were related but also whether it was in fact possibl etopointosuchalinkascan"beconsideredtoestablishfamilylifewithinthe' meaning of Article 8" (No . 6833/74, Dec. 29.9 .75, D .R. 3 p. 112). In the present case, the Commission finds that between the applicants there exists not only a family relationship but also a link which can be considered to establish family life within the meaning of Article 8 of the Convention . It is sufficient to note in this respect that Mathieu Jolie lives with his parents, Chantal Jolie an dEtieneLebrun,whoarebringinghimup,astheythesecondchildofthisfamily in the biological sense of the term . The Commission finds that the application raises a number of comple x problems, and particularly the following :a)DotheprovisionsofBelgianlawcomplainedofconstituteinterferencewit h the right of the child of an adulterous relationship ("enfant adultérin") to respect for his private and family life? The Commission notes that the provisions in question are Articles 331 and 335 of the Civil Code, and Articles 1258 and 1289 of the Judicial Code (see, for the content of these Articles, the part of this decision setting out "THE FACTS") . b) Does the interference allegedly suffered by the children of adulterous relationships ("enfants adultérins") also constitute interference with the private and/or family life of the mother? The same question .ariseswith regard to the biological father .256 c) Assuming that such interfererice by the Belgian legislator with the applicants' private and/or family life is proved, is ic justified under Article 8 para. 2 of the Convention ? ci) Does Belgian law also constitute a violation of Article 14 of thë Convention, taken in conjunction with Articlr, 8, witli regard ta the three applicants ?e,)Finaly,doesthelegislationcomplainedofviolatetherightsguaranteedb y Articles 9, 12 and 14 of the Convention, taken wi4h one another ? 'Phe Commission notes that Mathieu Jolie, havang been born less then 300 days after the record provided for in Article 1258 of the Judicial Coie, cannot belong in law to hiu biological and social family, based on a non-marited union . M:oreover, Belgian law prohibits the biological father, in this case, from establishing his paternity in law . As for the mother's situation, while registration of the court decision ori the application disclaiming patemity has turned Mathi-n Jolie's "legitimate" filiation into a filiation of a child of an adulterous relationship ("filiation adtiltérine"), his materaal filiation is still established . As far as his rciother is coricetned, he has been integratecl into his family from birth . In lfact, as soon the child is declared the child of an adulterous relationship ("enfant adultérin"), it is the law on illegitimate descent which applies, except in respect ef voluntary recognition by the mother, which is not required in this case . In the applicants' view, to deny to filiation arising from a non-marital unio n the rights accorded to "9egi.timate" filiation constimtes unjustified interference by a public authority with their private and family life, violating Article 8, taken alone, and also gives rise to discrimination, in violation of Article 14 taken ih conjunction with Article 8 of the Convention . In ttie Governement's view, the situation of the child of an adulterous relationship ("enfant adultérin") and his mother, particulat9y in respect of the legal extent of the family, raises problemsicentical to those addressed by the European Court of Humân Rights in the Marckx judgment, in which it ïound that there had been a violation of Article 8, taken alone and in conjunction with Article 14 of the Convention, with regard to the child and the mother. The Government consider the application adisissible in this respect . As for the establishment of inaterrialand paternal filiation, the Govermnent contest the applicants' arguments . They point out that the child's integration into his family from birth is established in respect of his mother, but cannot in anv .case be established in respect of his father . .~,'rheGovernmentpointoutthat,whiletheCourtinsistsinitsjudgmentthat family life must in fact be respected, it leaves State ; to decide how this objective is to be achieved . 'Chis suggests that actual respect for family life does not necessaril y ~ involve recognition of the biological link between the father and the child . 'Phe right ~ recognised in Article 8 of the Convention is absolute only in respect of the necessit y 257 of integrating the child into his family from birth . Otherwise, the law may impos erestrictionsfordiferentpurposes,oneofthembeingprotectiontherightsan dfredomsofothers . It is indeed for this reason that recognition by the father of a ' child of an adulterous relationship ("enfant, adultérin") as "illegitimate" cannot ber a merely voluntary operation, but must be subject to supervision by a court . Th ewholesituationofchildrenadulterousrelationshipsisadelicateone,since, numerous interests are involved . This is why the law has established, in Articles 331 and 335 of the Civil Code, a reasonable and necessary system to protect the rights of the spouse and legitimate children and maintain a certain order in society . The Government conclude that this interference is justified within the meaning of Article 8 para. 2 of the Convention, since the aims pursued by the authors of the~ Belgian legislation complained of are motivated by considerations of a moral nature . They are reasonable and objective . The Commission must therefore decide whether such interference as there ma y be is necessary in a democratic society, for the protection of morals, order and th efredomsofothers . 3. Finally, the applicants argue that Articles 9, 12 and 14 of the Convention together indicate that individuals are entitled to establish families in accordance with' their convictions, without being subjected to discrimination . The right to found a family outside marriage, in accordance with their convictions, implies that filiation arising from such a family must be recognised in law as being equal- to filiation stemming from marriage. The Government contest this argument, pointing out that Article 12 of th eConventionstatesthat : "Men and women of marriageable age have the right t o marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right. " It is therefore clear that the right to marry, while absolute in principle, ma y be regulated in practice by national legislation. The Government arguethat this is necessary for reasons both of public order and of legal security . Moreover, marriagi is not regarded in the Convention merely as the expression of an intention, conscience or religion, but also as a social instimtion . 4. The Commission considers, in the light of a preliminary examination of the parties' arguments, its own case-law and that of the Court, that the above complaints raise problems of intetpretation sufficiently complex and important to necessitate examination of the merits of the case . It follows that the application cannot bé 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 THE APPLICATION ADMISSIBLE. 258