AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

Application No. 11468/85
by S.K.
against the United Kingdom

        The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private
on 15 October 1986, the following members being present:

              MM. J. A. FROWEIN, Acting President
                  E. BUSUTTIL
                  G. JÖRUNDSSON
                  G. TENEKIDES
                  B. KIERNAN
                  A. S. GÖZÜBÜYÜK
                  J. C. SOYER
                  H. G. SCHERMERS
                  H. DANELIUS
                  G. BATLINER
                  H. VANDENBERGHE
              Mrs G. H. THUNE
              Sir Basil HALL
              Mr.  F. MARTINEZ

              Mr.  J. RAYMOND, Deputy Secretary to the Commission

        Having regard to Article 25 of the Convention for the Protection
of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

        Having regard to the application introduced on 18 March 1985
by S.K. against the United Kingdom and registered on
21 March 1985 under file No. 11468/85;

        Having regard to

-       the first report provided for in Rule 40 of the Rules
        of Procedure of the Commission;

-       the observations submitted by the respondent Government
        on 16 October 1985 and the observations in reply submitted
        by the applicant on 21 February 1986;

-       the second report provided for in Rule 40 of the Rules of
        Procedure of the Commission;

-       the submissions made by the parties at the hearing on
        15 October 1986;

        Having deliberated;

        Decides as follows:

THE FACTS

        The facts as they have been submitted on behalf of the
applicant, a citizen of the United Kingdom born in 1954, by his
representatives, Messrs.  Bindman and Partners, Solicitors, of London,
may be summarised as follows:

        A child, T, was born on 20 June 1982 to the applicant and H,
to whom he was not married but with whom he had lived since October
1979.  The applicant, H and T lived together in London.  For two months
following the birth the relationship between the applicant and H
continued quite normally.  However, as a result of H's worsening
mental health, the relationship seriously deteriorated thereafter,
with various incidents of violence occurring.  One such incident gave
rise to a conviction of the applicant for assault occasioning actual
bodily harm to H on 23 February 1983, for which the applicant was
conditionally discharged for 18 months.  At the end of May 1983, when
T was 11 months old, H went with T to the country for a short holiday.
 She never returned to cohabit with the applicant.

        As a result of H's worsening mental health she had been
largely incapable of caring for the physical and emotional needs of
the baby for most of the period since his birth.  Consequently the
applicant, who was umemployed during this 11 month period, was
primarily responsible for the care of T during this time, a fact which
was recognised in the subsequent proceedings by the Judge at first
instance.

        On 1 June 1983 H made her first contact with the Social
Services Department of the relevant County Council ("the Social
Services Department").  For part of the time up until 10 June 1983 she
stayed at a Social Services Department children's home with T.  The
Social Services Department were concered about H's behaviour and its
effect on T.

        On 10 June 1983 H was admitted as a compulsory patient under
the Mental Health Act 1959 to a psychiatric hospital and on the same
date a Place of Safety Order was obtained by the police under Section
28 (1) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 in respect of T.  As
a result the Social Services Department became responsible for T and
he was placed with foster parents, Mr. and Mrs.  A, on a short term
basis.

        On 13 June 1983 the applicant visited H in hospital in the
presence of the Social Services Department social worker, Miss W.  He
asked Miss W if he might take T back to London to take care of him
there, but this request was refused.

        On 16 June 1983 the Social Services Department were granted an
interim Care Order in respect of T under Sections 28 (8) and
20 (1)(b) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 by the competent
Juvenile Court.  The applicant attended court for this hearing.

However, due to his status as putative father of T the applicant was
not recognised under the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 as a
party to the Juvenile Court proceedings or as a parent or guardian
with a right to participate in the proceedings in accordance with the
Rules of the Magistrates' Court (Children and Young Persons) Rules
1970 which were the rules applicable at that time.

        H was discharged from hospital and returned to London with the
applicant.  However she immediately returned to the country.  Following
the hearing also on 16 June 1983, and on many subsequent occasions up
until 8 August 1983, the applicant asked Miss W for access to T, but
was refused on the grounds that H did not want him to see the baby.
The Judge in the subsequent wardship proceedings found that in June
1983 Miss W intended to try to effect a rehabilitation of T with his
mother and then for both of them eventually to rejoin the applicant in
London.

        The applicant's parents had been in very close contact with T
from his birth until he was taken to the country by H.  They had
a close supportive relationship with the baby and were very attached
to him.  On about 16 June 1983 the applicant's mother asked Miss W if
she and the grandfather could take over care of T.  She also wrote a
letter at about that time stating that there was always a home for T
with his grandparents, that he was loved and wanted, and that he could
always come back to them however long he was away.  This note was kept
on the file of the Social Services Department as requested by the
applicant's mother.  This offer, together with the offer to assist the
applicant in caring for T was maintained throughout the Juvenile Court
proceedings and the subsequent wardship proceedings.  The grandparents
had no statutory rights to apply for care and control of or access to
T until wardship proceedings were commenced.

        The applicant first consulted solicitors on 7 July 1983, and up
until about 5 August 1983 he and his solicitors understood that the
Social Services Department intended to seek only a supervision order
and to re-unite T with H.  The applicant hoped for a reconciliation
with H and the baby.

        On about 5 August 1983 it became clear that the Social
Services Department intended seeking a full care order from the
Juvenile Court at the hearing of the care proceedings fixed for 9
9 August 1983.  Because it was not possible for the applicant to be
joined as a party to the Juvenile Court proceedings on 9 August, nor
to present proposals which the Court had power to implement (although
it would appear from the judgment at first instance that the Court in
its discretion allowed him to give evidence), he issued wardship
proceedings in the Family Division of the High Court on 8 August 1983
making T a ward of court and seeking care and control of the baby.  H
and the relevant County Council ("the local authority") were made
parties to the wardship proceedings.

        On 9 August 1983 the competent Juvenile Court proceeded to hear
the care proceedings under the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 and
made a care order in favour of the local authority under Section 1
(2)(a) of that Act.  This order was made notwithstanding a letter
sent to the Court by the applicant's solicitors informing the Court of
the wardship proceedings and requesting an adjournment of the Juvenile
Court proceedings pending a decision in the High Court.  In the
wardship proceedings before the High Court the Social Services
Department initially contested the High Court's jurisdiction, in view
of the subsisting care proceedings.

        In the subsequent wardship proceedings, the High Court found
that, although by this stage the Social Services Department had begun
to feel that they should not move T because he was settling so well
with the foster parents, it was nevertheless clear that the Social
Services Department were keeping open three options: first, to return
T to his mother; secondly, to return T to the applicant and his
family; and, thirdly, for T to remain with the foster parents, which
constituted their interim decision.

        For the purpose of exploring the second option the local
authority then asked the social services department for the area in
London where the applicant lived to make an assessment of the
applicant's ability to care for T.  On 21 August 1983 the local
authority permitted the applicant, who had at that time not seen T for
84 days, to see him at their offices for a period of one hour.
Following that visit the applicant saw T on three further occasions at
the local authority offices for a period of one hour on each occasion.
He was not allowed to take T out by himself.

        During July and August 1983 H led an itinerant life in the
country and on 7 September 1983 she was admitted to the same
psychiatric hospital for a second time under the Mental Health Act
1959.  She remained there for a few days before moving to a hostel
providing after care for pyschiatric patients.

        On 31 August 1983 the social services department for the area
where the applicant lived provided the assessment requested by Miss W.
This recommended that T should be returned to the applicant and his
family.  Since this opinion differed from Miss W's own opinion it was
agreed that the two Departments should obtain the decision of a
Probation Officer as an independent arbitrator.  This step was never
taken by Miss W, who did not refer to the conflicting assessment in
her affidavit of 5 September 1983 in the wardship proceedings, a fact
for which she was criticised by the High Court.

        On 24 November 1983, on the applicant's summons in the
wardship proceedings for access and directions, it was ordered that
the Official Solicitor should represent H on the grounds of her mental
disability.  The local authority also withdrew its objection to the
High Court's jurisdiction.  It was also ordered that the applicant
should have twice monthly access periods of two hours duration at the
home of T's foster parents, and that he be able to take his parents
with him on access visits if he wished.  Thereafter regular access
proceeded on this basis until a final order was made in the wardship
proceedings in June 1984.

        On 10 January 1984 the care order in favour of the local
authority was discharged but the local authority continued to
have custody of T by virtue of the interim care order made in the
wardship proceedings.  On the same day a case conference was held at
which it was decided that the option of returning T to the applicant
was not open and that T should remain permanently with the foster
parents with whom he was already placed.  The High Court judge who
subsequently heard the wardship application stated:

"I formed the impression that this decision was effectively the
decision of Miss W, having regard to the composition of the group
who considered the matter and the lack of any real contact
by the others in the group with the parties (concerned).  It is
also to be remembered that as early as November 1983 Miss W had
thought it likely that the local authority could not put T with
the applicant or his mother.  The foster father ... was aware in
November or December 1983 that T either was not going to be or
may not ever be returned to either of his parents".

        The applicant was not informed of the case conference.

        The case was fixed to be heard by the High Court for a
substantive hearing of the care, custody and access applications on 19
January 1984.  However, on the evening before the hearing the
applicant and his solicitors heard that it was proposed by the local
authority that the foster parents should adopt T.  In view of this
quite unexpected decision an adjournment was requested on the
applicant's behalf.  On 10 February 1984 the applicant nevertheless
applied to expedite the adjourned hearing, which was held on 1 to 11
May 1984.

        Judgment was reserved until 25 June 1984 when the Deputy Judge
of the High Court made a final order that T should remain a ward of
court during his minority or until further order, that care and
control of T should be granted to his foster parents, Mr. and Mrs.  A,
and that the applicant should have access to T twice a month for
periods of three and a quarter hours at the foster parents' home and
that H should have reasonable access.

        In reaching this conclusion the Judge weighed at length the
options of granting care and control to the applicant, but concluded
on balance, that although he had shown some considerable abilities in
caring for T during his first year, the subsequent year spent with the
foster parents and the stability and security which their family had
provided had established a more reliable home environment for the
child.  In so doing he expressly stated as follows:

"I have been reminded by counsel ... that my paramount
consideration should be the present and future welfare of T, and
... that even if the [local authority's] conduct at any
stage was misguided or inappropriate I should not allow such
matters to influence my mind ...  I do not pass any judgment as
to the behaviour of the [local authority] in the period
November 1983 to January 1984.  It is sufficient for me to say
that Miss W candidly admitted that it would have been better to
have referred to the aspect of adoption in her November
affidavit.  I consider that my function is to look at the the
current situation of T and consider his future.  The primary
question is where he is to live and who is to care for him?"

        The applicant's appeal against this decision to the Court of
Appeal was dismissed on  25 September 1984.  The Court of Appeal
accepted the unchallenged criticisms of the conduct of the case by the
local authority and in particular the rigidity of Miss W, her
reluctance to consider the possibility of T being with the applicant
and the consequential decision by the local authority that T should be
adopted.  Nevertheless the Court held that there was sufficient
evidence before the trial judge to fully justify his conclusion that
at the time of the hearing it was in T's best interests that he remain
with the foster parents.  The Court continued that, although the issue
was not strictly before it, this would not appear to be a case in
which adoption should be contemplated and was one in which the
applicant's access to T should be encouraged and nurtured.  The
applicant's advisers considered that a further appeal to the House of
Lords would have been without any hope of success, and so no such
appeal was made.

COMPLAINTS

        The applicant complains of a breach of Articles 6, 8, 13 and
14 of the Convention.

        As regards Article 6 he argues that a right to apply for the
custody or care and control of, and access to, a child is a "civil
right".  He claims that he had no right to make such an application
once the police had obtained the Place of Safety Order and the local
authority had commenced care proceedings pursuant to the Children and
Young Persons Act 1969.  The applicant accepts that he did have a
right to make such an application in the context of wardship
proceedings, but emphasises that such a right is subject to
limitations once the Place of Safety Order had been granted and the
care proceedings had been begun.  The applicant therefore contends that
he did receive a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an
independent and impartial tribunal established by law as guaranteed by
Article 6  para. 1.  As regards the delay he points out that it took
almost nine months from the commencement of wardship proceedings to
the final hearing, that he had been denied regular acces to T (and he
did not see the child for 84 days following his removal by his mother)
and that at the date of judgment in the wardship proceedings T had
been away from him for more than one year.  He argues that the effect
of this was to prejudge his claim for care and control of the child as
against that of the foster parents.

        The applicant further contends that he, H and T lived as a
family unit for a substantial period of time notwithstanding that he
and H were not married.  He argues that the actions of the local
authority in refusing to allow the applicant and his parents to assume
care and control of T and in denying him access to the child for 84
days failed to respect his family life in breach of Article 8 para. 1
and that these actions cannot be said to have been "necessary in a
democratic society" pursuant to Article 8 para. 2.  He further argues
that the procedures leading to the above decisions, based as they were
on the opinion of one social worker, Miss W, provided insufficient
safeguards and showed a total lack of respect for the essentials of
"family life".

        The applicant also complains that the Place of Safety Order
and the subsequent interim care order in favour of the local authority
removed whatever parental rights he had regarding T.  His only remedy
was to issue wardship proceedings, which he duly commenced, but
following the decision of the House of Lords in A. v.  Liverpool
City Council such proceedings no longer provide an effective remedy
for the past mistakes of the local authority.  The applicant claims
that he did not therefore have access to an effective remedy before a
national authority in breach of Article 13 as regards his claim to be
entitled to care and control of, or access to T.

        Finally, the applicant contends that the rights guaranteed by
Articles 6, 8 and 13 of the Convention are not accorded to him in part
by reason of his sex and/or his marital status, in breach of Article
14.


PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

        The application was introduced on 18 March 1985 and registered
on 21 March 1985.

        On 10 July 1985 the Commission commenced its examination of
the admissibility of the application and decided to bring the
application to the notice of the respondent Government pursuant to
Rule 42 (2) (b) of its Rules of Procedure, and to request them to
submit observations in writing on its admissibility and merits.

        The observations of the respondent Government were submitted
on 16 October 1985 and the applicant's observations in reply were
submitted after two extensions of the time limit imposed by the
President of the Commission, on 21 February 1986.

        The Commission resumed its examination of the admissibility of
the application on 13 May 1986 and decided, pursuant to Rule 42(3)(b)
of its Rules of Procedure to invite the parties to make further oral
submissions on the admissibility and merits.

        At the hearing, which was held on 15 October 1986, the parties
were represented as follows:

The Government

        Mr.  I. Hendry           Agent
        Mr.  James Holman        Counsel
        Mr.  R. Aitken           Department of Health and Social
                                Security, Adviser
        Ms.  P. Barrett          Department of Health and Social
                                Security, Adviser


The applicant

        Mr.  Stephen Bellamy     Counsel
        Mr.  Nicholas O'Brien    Adviser
        Ms.  N. Angell           Solicitor, Bindman & Partners,
                                Adviser.

        The applicant was present in person.


SUBMISSIONS OF THE PARTIES

Submissions of the respondent Government

        The Facts

        The respondent Government contend that the report prepared by
the social worker from the social services department for the area
where the applicant lives cannot accurately be referred to as an
"assessment" in view of the limited contact which the social worker
concerned had with the applicant and the child.  Further the Government
contend that it is unjustified to criticise Miss W for not referring
to this report in her affidavit of 5 September 1983 since the local
authority were contesting the jurisdiction of the High Court in
wardship, and the sole purpose of the affidavit in question was to
obtain the Court's leave for T to be taken out of the jurisdiction for
a holiday.

        The respondent Government further point out that reference was
made to the possibility of T being adopted at the hearing concerning
access in November 1983.  In view of this, and the terms of Miss W's
affidavit of 29 November 1983, they contest that the local authority's
decision in January 1984 to encourage the foster parents to adopt T
was "quite unexpected".

        In addition the respondent Government refer to the comments
regarding the applicant's capabilities and character made by the judge
at first instance, which suggest that the applicant would be inclined
to be stubborn and dogmatic and did not fully appreciate the strains
of parenthood of a young child as opposed to the care of a baby.  In
addition the trial judge accepted that Miss W saw the applicant
regularly between June and August 1983 which gave her "an opportunity
... to form some impression of him".

        The respondent Government finally point out that the judge
giving the leading judgment of the Court of Appeal revised his
judgment in the light of remarks made by counsel for the local
authority in answer to criticisms made of Miss W's conduct of the case
and the Court did not accept the "unchallenged criticisms" which had
been made of such conduct.

        The domestic law and practice

        The application raises issues relating to the compulsory
placing of a child in care by order of the Juvenile Court under the
Children and Young Persons Act 1969 (the 1969 Act), the wardship
jurisdiction of the High Court, and the guardianship legislation.

        Place of safety orders under the 1969 Act

The decision to place a child in a place of safety is taken on an
application to the Juvenile Court, providing that the court is
satisfied that conditions of risk apply to the child.  The child may
then be detained in a place of safety for a maximum of 28 days from
the Court's order.

        Under Section 28 (3) of the 1969 Act, a person who detains any
child under a place of safety order must, as soon as practicable
after doing so, inform the child, and any parent or guardian of the
detention and the reason for it.  "Parent" does not include the
putative father of an illegitimate child.  The word "guardian"
includes, by virtue of Section 107 (1) of the Children and Young
Persons Act 1933 and Section 70 (1) of the 1969 Act, a person who has
for the time being the charge of or control of the child or young
person.

        During the 28 days period an application may be made under
Section 28 (6) of the 1969 Act for an interim care order.  If the
local authority or another interested person wishes to retain the
child in protected surroundings after the 28 day period, it is
necessary to make the child a ward of court, or begin care proceedings
under Section 1 of the 1969 Act, applying for an interim order under
Section 2 (10) of the Act, or to apply under Section 28 (6) of the
1969 Act.

        On 16 June 1983 T became subject of an interim care order in
accordance with Section 28 (6) of the 1969 Act.  Such an order is also
limited to a maximum of 28 days, although an interim care order made
under Section 2 (10) of the 1969 Act may be renewed.

        The local authority may apply to the Juvenile Court for a
child to be placed in its care.  Under Section 2 (2) of the 1969 Act,
the local authority is in certain circumstances under a duty to do so.
The grounds of such an application are set out in Section 1 (2) (a) -
(f).

        In applying to the Juvenile Court, the local authority must
show one of the grounds set out in Section 1 (2) (a) - (f) and show
that the child is in need of care or control which it will not receive
unless one of the orders specified in Section 1 (3) of the 1969 Act is
made.

        The effect of a care order under Section 1 (3) (c) of the 1969
Act is that the rights of the parents, except the rights to agree to
adoption and to influence the child's religious beliefs, are taken
from them and given to the local authority.  The powers and duties of
the local authorities with respect to children and young persons
committed to care are contained in Section 29 of the 1969 Act which is
now reproduced in Sections 10, 11 and 12 of the Child Care Act 1980,
which has subsequently come into force.

        Care proceedings (unless under the ground in Section 1 (2) (f)
of the 1969 Act) are civil proceedings, governed by the Magistrates'
Courts (Children and Young Persons) Rules 1970 (SI 1970/17/92).  The
parties to the proceedings are the local authority and the child, who
may be represented, and receive legal aid in appropriate cases.  The
child may have his parent or guardian conduct his case on his behalf
either directly or indirectly through a lawyer.  However, where the
Court thinks that there may be a conflict of interests between the
child and the parent or guardian, the court may make an order that
those interests be separately represented.  At the time of the
relevant proceedings in June 1983 this procedure for separate
representation had not been enacted, with the result that the natural
parent or guardian was not entitled to legal aid in their own right in
the proceedings.  To the extent that they were not acting on behalf of
the child, they had a right to attend the hearing of an application
for an interim care order or a care order and give or call evidence
challenging evidence made against them by the local authority.  In
practice, the Juvenile Court had and has inherent jurisdiction to
allow separate legal representation in such cases (R v.  Gravesham
Juvenile Court ex parte B (1982) 4 FLR 312) and could as a matter of
practice control its own proceedings, for example allowing cross
examination of local authority witnesses (R v.  Milton Keynes Justices
ex parte R (1979) 1 WLR 1062).

        Other persons who are entitled to attend care proceedings
include any foster parent or other parent with whom the child has had
his home for a period of not less than six weeks ending not more than
six months before the date of the application if their whereabouts is
known to the applicant for the care order.  The Junvenile Court may
allow the participation of such persons as may be appropriate in any
case.

        An appeal lies from the Juvenile Court to the Crown Court
under Section 2 (12) of the 1969 Act.  The Crown Court reviews the
decision by way of a rehearing.  The local authority has no general
right of appeal where no order is made under Section 1 (3) of the 1969
Act, or where the one made was not the one sought.  Appeal on a point
of law lies to the Divisional Court of the High Court.

        Wardship

        The jurisdiction to make a child a ward of court originated
in the feudal concept of the Crown as "parens patriae" and this
jurisdiction is now exercised by the Family Division of the High
Court.  Where a child becomes a ward of court the Court assumes
responsibility for all aspects of his welfare.  It may make orders as
to where the child is to live, with whom, who may have access to him,
and as to his religion, education and marriage if under 18.

        In accordance with Section 1 of the Guardianship of Minors Act
1971, in determining which orders to make, the High Court must have
regard to the child's welfare as the "first and paramount
consideration".  The Court may grant "care and control" of the child
to a person or body, including for example the local authority, which
must then act on the Court's directions.  A contemporaneous supervision
order may also be made in favour of another person or body, unless the
local authority has been given care and control of the child by virtue
of Section 7 (2) of the 1969 Act.  The child remains a ward until
either he attains his majority, or the Court orders that he shall
cease to be a ward, and no important step can be taken in the child's
life without the court's consent.

        Anyone who can show an appropriate interest in the child's
welfare can apply to make a child a ward of court.  Section 41 (1) of
the Supreme Court Act 1981 provides that no child may be a ward of
court other than by a court order, which is obtained by an application
for an originating summons in the High Court.  The procedure is set out
in Order 90 of the Rules of the Supreme Court, which have the result
that a child becomes a ward of court immediately the originating
summons is issued, but that, unless an appointment for the hearing of
the summons is made within 21 days, the wardship automatically lapses.

        The first appointment will be before the Registrar who gives
directions as to what is to be done before the case may be heard by a
judge, including an order as to access if the person with physical
custody of the child agrees.  An appeal lies from the Registrar to a
judge in chambers.

        The child may be represented in wardship proceedings by a
guardian ad litem, usually the official solicitor, who is entirely
independent of the executive.  The object of appointing the official
solicitor is to give the court the assistance of an experienced
and impartial person, whose interest is the child's welfare.

        Subject to means, legal aid is available for the representation
of parents' interests in wardship proceedings in the High Court.  They
may also apply to accelerate the proceedings under Order 43 of the
Rules of the Supreme Court.  Appeal lies from the High Court to the
Court of Appeal, and to the House of Lords, but legal aid is not
normally available for defendants in ex parte applications which are
not initiated by the person concerned.

        While a child is a ward of court, any party may bring the case
back before the Court for a variation of the existing order or for
directions as to its interpretation or application.

        Wardship therefore provides an entirely separate jurisdiction
from that of the Juvenile Court concerning the care of a child under
the 1969 Act.  The relationship between the responsibilities for the
care of the child imposed on local authorities by statute under the
1969 Act and otherwise, and those exercised by the High Court under
the wardship jurisdiction is set out in the judgment of Lord
Wilberforce in A v.  Liverpool City Council (HL (1981) 2AER p. 385).

        Lord Wilberforce reviewed first the scope of the statutory
responsibilities of the local authority, in respect of which he held
that there was no general reviewing power of their exercise by the
court.  He went on to add "this is not to say that the inherent
jurisdiction of the High Court is taken away.  Any child, whether
under care or not can be made a ward of court ...  In cases ... where
the court perceives that the action is within the sphere of discretion
of the local authority it will make no order and the wardship will
lapse.  But in some instances there may be an area of concern to which
the powers of the local authority, limited as they are by statute, do
not extend.  Sometimes the local authority itself may invite the
supplementary assistance of the court.  Then the wardship may be
continued with a view to action by the court.  The court's general
inherent powers are always available to fill gaps or supplement the
powers of the local authority; what it will not do (except by way of
judicial review where appropriate) is to supervise the exercise of
discretion within the field committed by statute to the local
authority".

        Hence the wardship jurisdiction is available where there is a
lacuna in the relevant statutory provisions which restrict a local
authority's decision-making, where something wholly exceptional
requires the court's intervention, and to review action by the local
authority which is so unreasonable as to require the intervention by
the court.  This last possibility is the availability of judicial
review as to the exercise of the administrative discretion vested in
the local authority.

        Guardianship

        Under Section 14 Guardianship of Minors Act 1971 (the 1971
Act) the father of an illegitimate child may apply to the High Court,
County Court or Magistrates' Court for custody or access to a minor.
Section 9 (1) of the 1971 Act states:

        "The Court may, on the application of the mother or father
        of a minor (who may apply without a next friend)
        make such order regarding -

        a.      the legal custody of the minor;

        b.      the right of access to the minor of his mother
                or father as the court thinks fit having
                regard to the welfare of the minor and the
                conduct and wishes of the mother and father."

        By virtue of Section 14 of the 1971 Act, this provision
applies equally to an illegitimate minor, and the reference to father
and mother or parent of such a child is construed accordingly.

Admissibility and merits

        Article 6

        The respondent Government submit that the applicant had an
opportunity, which he did not take, to make representations to the
court having jurisdiction in the care proceedings.  Further, the
applicant could have applied for custody and access to the court under
guardianship legislation, which makes specific provision for the
application by fathers of illegitimate children.  He further had an
opportunity, which he did use, to bring the matter before the wardship
court.  In view of these opportunities, the respondent Government
contend that the applicant had available to him access to court as
required by Article 6 para. 1 of the Convention for the determination of
his civil rights concerning the child.

        Although the applicant would not be considered as a "parent"
in the context of the care proceedings before the Juvenile Court, he
would very probably have succeeded in persuading the court that he was
a "guardian" and thus would have been entitled to apply for separate
representation before the court.  In this respect he contends that for
the first 11 months of T's life he was the principal carer for the
baby, in which circumstances he would be regarded as having been the
person with "charge of, or control over" the child in the terms of
the definition of "guardian" in Section 107 of the Children and Young
Persons Act 1933.

        As a guardian he would have been able to participate in the
proceedings as set out above.  In fact, it appears from the affidavit
of Miss W of 16 August 1983 (para. 10) that the Juvenile Court did
allow the applicant to give evidence and the opportunity to
cross-examine witnesses, which latter opportunity he did not take up.
It does not appear however that he sought to argue that he was a
"guardian" which would have enabled him to take a greater part in the
care proceedings.  Had the applicant obtained legal custody, or joint
legal custody with the child's mother under the guardianship
legislation, he would certainly have been a guardian for the purposes
of care proceedings.  In any event the applicant was entitled to
notice of those proceedings under Rule 14 (3) (b b) of the
Magistrates' Court's Children and Young Persons Rules 1970 and
further had the opportunity of participating in the proceedings by
virtue of the Court exercising its inherent jurisdiction.

        Furthermore, the applicant had failed to take steps pursuant
to the guardianship legislation to formalise his legal status
vis-à-vis T.  The guardianship legislation governs relationships
between unmarried parents of a child with that child, including the
examination of custody, care and control, and access where such
questions arise on the breakdown of a relationship between cohabitees.

        Since the applicant knew for some time that T's mother had a
serious mental health problem, the respondent Government submit that
he should have taken the opportunity to secure recognition of the fact
that he was the main carer for the child, if this was so, in the
child's best interests, by applying for legal custody of the child.
Had he done so, his legal status in relation to the child would have
been secured in the event of any difficulties which might arise from
actions taken by the mother due to her mental health problems.  Since
the applicant had not taken such steps, his status towards T was not
established, and he contributed to his own disadvantage in the
subsequent proceedings which arose as to the child's welfare.

        The respondent Government further argue that the applicant
could have issued proceedings under the guardianship legislation,
notwithstanding the existence of a care order in respect of the child.
Although the two sets of proceedings could not have been heard
together, since the care proceedings would be heard by a juvenile panel
of magistrates, whereas a guardianship application could be heard by
the Magistrates' Court as normally constituted, the respondent
Government contend that an application for guardianship could have
been heard immediately before the hearing of an application for a
full care order.  The latter would have proved unnecessary if the
applicant had been awarded custody under a guardianship application.
That jurisdiction for such proceedings would have existed,
notwithstanding the care proceedings, is confirmed in the Government's
submission by the case of R. v.  Oxford Justices ex parte "D"
(Judgment of 19 June 1986, unreported).

        Furthermore, the applicant had the opportunity for a fair
hearing before an impartial tribunal established by law in accordance
with Article 6 of the Convention in the proceedings in wardship.  The
originating summons was issued on 8 August 1983, but the summons for
directions was only heard on 24 November 1983, which implies that the
applicant did not apply to expedite the hearing following the
commencement of the wardship proceedings.  Although the final hearing
did not begin until 1 May 1984, the hearing listed for January 1984
was adjourned at the applicant's request.  There is considerable case
law in England, which indicates that cases in which custody is
disputed should be heard expeditiously, but the nature of legal
proceedings in England and Wales requires those initiating such
proceedings to take the initiative to pursue their remedies with
vigour.  Until the application for expedition of the wardship hearing
made on 10 February 1984, the applicant does not appear to have
pursued his case with the necessary vigour.  He thereby appears to
have contributed to the delay which he claims subsequently prejudiced
his claim for care and control before the wardship court.  He
nevertheless obtained a full hearing before that court, and
subsequently on appeal to the Court of Appeal.

        Having regard to the opportunities for access to the courts
which were available to the applicant, but which he did not take, and
to the hearing in the wardship proceedings in which he did
participate, the respondent Government submit that there was no denial
of the applicant's access to the court contrary to Article 6 para. 1
of the Convention, and that his complaints in this respect are
manifestly ill-founded.

        Article 8

        The respondent Government contend that the decision of the
local authority to prevent and subsequently restrict the applicant's
contact with his son between 10 June 1983 and 24 November 1983 was in
conformity with Article 8 of the Convention.

        The Court affirmed in the Marckx case (Eur.  Court H.R., Marckx
judgment of 13 June 1979, Series A no. 31) that Article 8 extends to
family relationships outside marriage and the respondent Government
accept that, to the extent that the applicant cared for T during the
first months of his life, he was entitled to respect for this family
life under Article 8 of the Convention.

        It was open to the applicant to take proceedings under the
1971 Act, to establish his guardianship status in respect of T.  Had
he taken this step at an early stage, before the child was removed
from his home, he would have been afforded an adequate opportunity to
secure respect for his family life.  Any court seised of proceedings
under the 1971 Act would have given first and paramount consideration
to the welfare of the child, but this would not have involved any
breach of Article 8 from the applicant's point of view, since
Article 8 para. 2 provides for the protection of the health of the
child and his rights and freedoms, if necessary over and against a
parent.

        Since the applicant had failed to take guardianship
proceedings, it was open to the local authority to take a decision in
the interest of the child to prevent access by the applicant.  In the
absence of any order under the guardianship legislation in favour of
the applicant as father of the illegitimate child, the mother's rights
in respect of such a child are greater than those of the father.
Section 85 (7) Children Act 1975 provides: "except as otherwise
provided by or under any enactment, while the mother of an
illegitimate child is living she has the parental rights and duties
exclusively".

        In the present case the local authority considered it
necessary to refuse and then restrict the applicant's access to T to
ensure that the process of rehabilitation of T to his mother stood a
reasonable chance of success.  In effect, the local authority were
giving preference to the mother's rights to respect for her family life
as opposed to the interests of the father when rehabilitation was
considered.  Accordingly the local authority took account of the
mother's wishes that the applicant should not have access to the child
while the place of safety order was in operation.  The local authority
took the view that great emphasis should be placed on providing the
child with stability, a characteristic which had been absent from the
first 11 months of T's life.  The applicant's behaviour and his effect
on T's mother's behaviour were both factors which were taken into
account and militated against allowing him access.

        However the option of rehabilitation of T to the applicant and
his extended family was under consideration between June and October
1983.  The possibility was alluded to in the social enquiry report
which was before the Juvenile Court on 9 August 1983, although it was
a social worker's view that if the applicant sought custody for T,
this would not be an "improved option".

        The respondent Government observe that T had the right to
respect for his family life.  Having regard to this, and having
carefully taken into account the father's circumstances, the local
authority's attempt to rehabilitate the child with his mother did
impose constraints on the access which the authority considered could
be given to the applicant.  It is submitted that this approach is
fully justified by reference to paragraph 2 of Article 8.

        The wardship proceedings instituted by the applicant enabled
him to challenge the local authority's decisions on access.  The
wardship court decided that the welfare of the child required that
care and control remained with the foster parents, but that access be
given to the applicant.  This conclusion was reached by the court
after very full and careful consideration of all the circumstances of
the case.  The respondent Government contend that this decision did
not put them in breach of Article 8, since the domestic authorities
enjoy a considerable measure of discretion in taking into account
factors which may be critical for the protection of the health of a
child.

        With regard to the conduct of the care proceedings, the local
authority's reasons for its actions are set out in the affidavits of
the social workers concerned dated 16 August and 29 November 1983.
The local authority's intention was to "afford T the security which
his recently unsettled state indicates he needs" by virtue of staying
with his present foster parents.  Having regard to the circumstances
of the case, and in view of the mother's mental history, the removal
of the child from the joint household in London and subsequent
disruption justified the local authority's action which itself can be
seen as coming within the exceptions contained in Article 8 para. 2,
as in accordance with law and necessary in a democratic society for
the protection of T's health.  This is reflected in the order made by
the Juvenile Court on 9 August 1983 under Section 1 (2) (a) of the
1969 Act, that the Court was satisfied that T's proper development was
being avoidably prevented or neglected, or that he was being
ill-treated and also that he was in need of care and control which he
was unlikely to receive unless a care order made under that Section
was made in respect of him.  Thus the court committed T to the care of
the local authority by a deliberate decision of the Juvenile Court.
Had the Court decided not to make a care order, T could have been
returned to the applicant as his guardian.

        In any event, access to T, albeit restricted, was given to the
applicant by the local authority.

        Article 13

        The respondent Government contend that the applicant had an
effective remedy before a national authority for his complaint of a
violation of Article 8 of the Convention by taking wardship or
guardianship proceedings.  The respondent Government dispute the
applicant's contention that his only remedy was the wardship
proceedings.  It is nevertheless a fact that the wardship proceedings
were taken, jurisdiction was assumed by the High Court, and an order
was made.  The fact that the wardship court did not award the
applicant care and control of his son does not mean that he did not
have an effective remedy, since it was fully open to the Court to make
such an order.  After a full hearing, and careful consideration of all
the evidence, he was ordered only specified access.  For the reasons
set out above, it is not accepted by the respondent Government that
the wardship jurisdiction is so circumscribed by jurisdictional
difficulties as not to amount to a remedy that could be regarded as
effective in a reasonable period of time.

        The place of safety proceedings and the care order proceedings
did not prevent the applicant from being heard or cross examining
witnesses before the Juvenile Court in the care proceedings and
thereby from persuading that Court not to make a care order.  Nor did
those proceedings prevent the wardship court from considering the
question of T's custody or access to him by the applicant.  Although
technically the applicant was not a party to the care proceedings, he
was able to participate effectively, but decided not to participate to
the extent which he could have done.

        The respondent Government submit that the place of safety
proceedings and the care order proceedings would not have prevented
the guardianship court from considering the question of the legal
custody of T, or access to him by the applicant, in view of Section
9(1) and Section 14 of the 1971 Act.

        Article 14

        The respondent Government contend that in view of the case law
of the Commission, a natural father of a child born to unmarried
parents is not entitled, under Article 8, to an exactly similar
position in law as that of the mother.  Hence the respondent
Government contend that there was no discrimination contrary to
Article 14 in the applicant's locus standi in the care proceedings.

        The respondent Government refer in this connection to the
review of the law of legitimacy carried out by the Law Commission,
which examined the possible consequences of equating the rights of
unmarried parents.  The Law Commission's conclusion was ultimately
clearly against such a course for reasons intended to ensure the legal
certainty of the child's status, and thus motivated by the child's
best interests.

        In its decision on the admissibility of application No.
9697/82, Johnston v.  Ireland, Dec. 7.10.83, to be published, the
Commission stated that the finding in the Marckx case (supra):

        "(D)oes not mean that the 'illegitimate' family is entitled
        to benefit from the same legal regime as the 'legitimate'
        family in every respect."

        Thus, for example, the Commission considered that Article 8
did not apply to the State to grant a right to custody in care to a
natural father of a child born out of wedlock where the parents were
free to marry but had chosen not to do so (Applications Nos. 9639/82,
Dec. 15.3.84, to be published and No. 9519/81, Dec. 15.3.84,
unpublished and No. 9558/81, 15.3.84, unpublished).  In those decisions
the Commission recognised that, where unmarried parents of a child
wished to maintain family relations, they are free to marry and thus
obtain the legal advantages they require.  Where however they choose
not to marry in order to avoid the application of marriage and family
law, they are themselves responsible for the legal consequences of
their choice.

        Accordingly the respondent Government submit that the
differences in treatment of a father who is not a "guardian" under the
Magistrates' Court Rules 1970, and a mother of a child born out of
wedlock, have an objective and reasonable justification that does not
amount to discrimination contrary to Article 14 of the Convention.

        Furthermore, in the present case, the applicant contends that
he was the major carer for the child in his early months, and it was
therefore open to him to argue that he was the "guardian" of the child
as defined by the Magistrates' Court Rules 1970, or to have taken
guardianship proceedings under the 1971 Act, and thereby experience no
difference in treatment as compared with the mother of the child under
the Rules.

B.      Submissions of the applicant

        The Facts

        The applicant disputes the contentions of the respondent
Government in respect of the facts contained in their observations on
admissibility and merits.  He points out that the assessment prepared
by the social services department for the area where he lived was
requested in August 1983 by the local authority and the circumstances
in which it arose are described by the judge at first instance in the
wardship proceedings in his judgment dated 25 June 1984.  Miss W's
affidavit of 29 November 1983 exhibits, as exhibit 2, the report
prepared by that social services department which was relied upon by
the local authority in the proceedings before the Juvenile Court.
Furthermore, the report, dated 31 August 1983, was before the Court in
the wardship proceedings, in the possession of all of the parties, and
was in no way challenged or called into question in those proceedings.
It is relevant to stress in this respect that at the time that this
report was requested by the local authority by way of an assessment of
T, T was in the care of long term foster parents, and the applicant
had not been permitted to see T by the local authority, and only saw
him on 21 August 1983, ten days before the assessment was finally
prepared.  Nor were the applicant's parents allowed to see T and it was
therefore impossible, by virtue of the local authority's decisions,
for the applicant and his parents to be observed together with T for
the purpose of preparing this report.

        It was only after receipt of the report dated 31 August 1983,
that Miss W decided to request the competent Probation and After
Care Service to prepare a further report as a means of reconciling the
differences of opinion between her point of view and that expressed in
the report of 31 August 1983.

        In the events which had happened, the report of 31 August 1983
was not made known to the applicant until after leave had been given
for T to be taken out of the jurisdiction on 1 September 1983.  Had
the report been before the Court when it considered that application,
it might have been open to the applicant to request that T stay with
him for the period of the holiday, and this request might indeed have
been granted by the Court.  The applicant thereby lost a valuable
opportunity to apply to care for T during this period, which could have
been highly relevant to the final decision taken by the Court in
wardship.

        With regard to the reference to adoption during the hearing on
24 November 1983, the trial judge asked for information as to whether
the local authority's proposal would be that T's best interests were
to be met by long term fostering, or by an adoption order if T were
left in their care after the originating summons had been heard.  The
need for the judge to make this enquiry as to the local authority's
position was due to the fact that the latter had not yet made clear to
the Court, or the applicant, what their future plans for T were.  This
is illustrated by the affidavit of Mr.  W of 29 November 1983, which
merely stated that T needed "the stability of his current placement"
but did not set out the local authority's plans if an order placing T
in their care was made.  The absence of any specific reference to
adoption in this affidavit suggests that adoption was not to be
recommended, and it was therefore the more unexpected and surprising
that this suggestion was ultimately made in the proceedings before the
High Court on 19 January 1984.

        However, from the evidence given at first instance on behalf
of the local authority, it appears that the prospect of adoption was
discussed with the foster parents before Miss W swore her affidavit on
29 November 1983, and that the foster parents had indeed decided that
they wished to adopt T prior to the swearing of that affidavit.  These
discussions and decision were not revealed to the applicant and he was
not involved in them.  He was informed of the foster parents' decision
to adopt on 19 January 1984, and of the prior discussions when
evidence was given to the Court between 1 and 11 May 1984.  Hence
there was no reason, prior to 18 January 1984, for the applicant, or
his legal advisers to assume that such important and final decision
as adoption was in contemplation.

        With regard to the adjournment on 19 January 1984 of the
originating summons, this arose not only at the request of the
applicant, but also to permit the foster parents to be joined in the
wardship proceedings, to be represented and to file evidence and
because, owing to an error by court staff, no report had been prepared
by the Court Welfare Officer, although this had been requested on
24 November 1983, for consideration by the Court.  These matters were
not within the competence, responsibility, or knowledge of the
applicant until 19 January 1984, and hence he cannot be held
responsible for the delay which they caused.  He nevertheless sought
to expedite the hearing by so applying on 10 February 1984, but the
Court declined to make an order for expedition because there was no
earlier court available.  The delay which subsequently arose between
January and May 1984 was highly significant, in view of T's age.  Miss
W conceded in her affidavit of 29 November 1983, that had she referred
to the decision of the local authority to propose adoption earlier,
delay would have been avoided.

        With regard to the criticisms of the applicant's abilities and
character expressed by the judge at first instance, the applicant
refers to other passages in the judgment, where a different opinion
was expressed.  In addition, the applicant refers to the judgment of
the Court of Appeal, which found "that in parts of the judge's
reasoning he expressed his criticism of the father in terms more
emphatic that the evidence precisely justified".

        Finally, with regard to the revision of the judgment of the
Court of Appeal in the light of the submissions made on behalf of the
local authority, the applicant points out that Lord Justice Purchas
did not revise his judgment.  He specifically stated that he shared the
views expressed in the leading judgment (before revision) relating to
the decisions and actions of the local authority and their officers in
the early stages "of this unfortunate story".  He went on to refer to
"the justifiable reaction of the father to those decisions and
actions.  I appreciate those errors, (which have been referred to),
may well have arisen from a premature view that the child should be
adopted".

        Domestic law and practice

Place of safety orders

        The applicant accepts the respondent Government's summary of
the law in this area subject to the following points.  First, the 1969
Act does not oblige the applicant for a place of safety order to
inform the child's parent or guardian of the intention to apply for
such an order, nor are they, or the child, entitled to appeal, give
evidence, make representations, nor have legal representation.
Although there may be situations where the child is in imminent
danger or where it is impractical to inform the parent or guardian
before making the application, there are also situations where neither
of these factors apply, and where there is no reason for the parent or
guardian to be kept ignorant of the application and prevent it thereby
from appearing and being represented.  Secondly, there is no right of
appeal from a place of safety order subject only to the right to apply
for judicial review under Section 32 Supreme Court Act 1981.  The
wardship jurisdiction is excluded (re E Minors (wardship
jurisdiction) 1983 1 WLR 541).

        As a result, once a child is removed from its parents or
guardian under a place of safety order for up to 28 days, subject to
judicial review on a point of law only, there is no available remedy
against the making of such an order.  As a result, in the long term,
the local authority which has applied for a place of safety order is
in a tactically advantageous position of being in physical possession
of a child when care proceedings are commenced, and this very often
leads to very long stays in care.

        The law is unclear as to the exact relationship and powers,
duties and rights of the successful applicant for a place of safety
order and the child taken under the place of safety order.  The order
only gives the applicant authority to take and then detain the child
for up to a maximum period of 28 days.  The law makes no provision for
a parent or guardian to have any right of access to the child subject
to a place of safety order.

        Interim care orders

        The law as summarised by the respondent Government is
accepted, subject to the following clarifications of the way in which
it applied to the applicant in the present case, questions made
complex by the introduction of an amendment to the relevant rules
during the course of these proceedings.

        Only the local authority as applicant for a care order, and
the child, of whatever age, are parties to care proceedings.  Parents
and guardians, as defined by Section 17 (1) of the 1969 Act, are not
parties; nor are foster parents or other persons who might be
interested in, or have the care of, a child.  This fact is relevant
both for the procedural position of parents and guardians, as also for
their rights of appeal from decisions of the Juvenile Court.

        The effect of the Magistrates' Court (Children and Young
Persons) Rules 1970 (SI 1970/1792) as they applied to the applicant in
the proceedings in the present case was as follows:

        1.      If he was a parent or guardian he had the
        right to be served with a notice specifying inter alia
        the grounds for the proceedings;

        2.      If he was a parent or guardian he was entitled to
        "meet any allegation made against him in the course
        of the proceedings by calling or giving evidence";

        3.      If he was a parent or guardian there was
        no entitlement at the time to make representations
        to the Court (the relevant rule was not yet in force);

        4.      If he was an "other person", as defined in
        Rules, he had the right to be served with a notice
        specifying, inter alia, the grounds for the
        proceedings, but no entitlement to meet any allegations
        by calling or giving evidence, nor to make representations.

        5.      If the applicant was a parent or guardian, or
        an "other person" within the definition of the Rules,
        he would not in any circumstances be allowed
        to cross examine any witness called by either the
        local authority, or the child, as no rule effective
        at the time of these proceedings allowed this.

        Subject to financial means, the child, as a party to the
proceedings, is entitled to legal aid and to be represented by a
solicitor or counsel.  The parents, guardian, foster parent, or "other
person", were not entitled to legal aid at the time of the hearing in
these proceedings before the Juvenile Court.

        The legal position of a putative father of an illegitimate
child was summarised by Lord Justice Denning (as he then was) in Re M
(an Infant) (1955) 2QB479 at 488 as follows:

        "In my opinion, the word 'parent' in an Act of Parliament
        does not include the father of an illegitimate child unless
        the context otherwise requires ...  The reason is that the
        law of England has from time immemorial looked upon a
        bastard as the child of nobody, that is to say the child
        of no known body except its mother.  The father is too
        uncertain a figure for the law to take any cognizance of
        him, except that it will make him pay for the child's
        maintenance, if it can find out who he is.  The law recognises
        no rights on him in regard to the child: whereas the mother
        has several rights ... (the natural father) has no rights
        at all, so far as I can see, though no doubt he can apply
        for the child to be made a ward of court, just as anyone
        else can."

        The reference to warding a child in care must now be read
subject to the restrictions on this possibility resulting from the
decision of the House of Lords in A v.  Liverpool City Council (supra).

        Section 107 (1) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1953
defines "guardian" as a person "in relation to a child or young person
who, in the opinion of the court having cognizance of any case in
relation to the child or young person or in which the child or young
person is concerned, has for the time being the charge
of, or control over, the child or young person".  The applicant refers
to the case of TL v.  Birmingham City Council (1984) 14 Fam.  Law 15,
where a grandmother, who was the de facto guardian of a child for six
years, was found not to be a party to the care proceedings and had no
right to be heard.

        In view of this decision, the applicant contends that he would
not have been regarded as a guardian for the purposes of the care
proceedings.  Furthermore, he was not a person who, "for the time
being" had the charge or control over the child, since this person was
T's mother, who had exclusive parental rights and duties in accordance
with Section 85 (7) Children's Act 1975.  In the present case, T's
mother was living with the child, took him away to the country and had
him in her charge and control prior to the place of safety order and
the subsequent care proceedings.  Indeed, in view of the uncertainty
of the legal relationship between the child under a place of safety
order and a body in whose de facto care the child is under such order
(referred to above), the local authority could be considered in this
case to be the person who had "for the time being the charge or
control over the child or young person".

        The respondent Government contend, on the authority of R v.
Gravesham Juvenile Court Ex parte B (1982) 4FLR312 that the Juvenile
Court had inherent jurisdiction to allow separate legal representation
for the applicant.  That case is authority for the proposition that
the Juvenile Court has power to allow such representation as it
considers proper and necessary in the interests of justice, which
might involve taking full part in the proceedings or only a lesser
part.  It expressly held that there was no power to grant legal aid to
pay for legal representation.  Hence, unless the parent is able to
afford legal representation, and assuming that the discretionary power
of the Juvenile Court extends to permit putative fathers to
participate in the proceedings to the extent which the justices
consider necessary for the fair conduct of the proceedings, even these
limited and discretionary opportunities for the applicant may be quite
empty.

        With regard to the powers of the Juvenile Court in care
proceedings, these did not include the possibility of making an order
in favour of the applicant either giving him custody, care and control
or access in respect of T.  Even if the case in respect of the need
for T to be placed in care had not been proved, T would not have
reverted to the custody, care and control of the applicant, but to
that of his mother.  In the proceedings which were brought, the
Juvenile Court was concerned, once a need for care was established,
with deciding whether the mother's parental rights should be taken
away under a care order, and given to the local authority, and not
with the applicant's rights as a putative father.  The applicant had
no status to appeal from the order of the Juvenile Court, since this
opportunity rests only with the parties.

        Wardship

        The applicant accepts the summary of the law as set out by the
respondent Government, but points out that, in view of the decision in
A v.  Liverpool City Council (1982) AC 363 and in In re W (a minor)
(Wardship Jurisdiction) (1985) 2WLR 892, the High Court will only
exercise its jurisdiction in wardship in very limited circumstances,
such as where the authority has acted ultra vires or with impropriety,
or where the local authority's own statutory powers are deficient.  It
will not exercise its jurisdiction where there is a lack of statutory
power in a putative father, or member of the child's wider family, to
apply to a court for relief, a fortiori where that relief would
interfere with a statutory parental right of the local authority.

        Hence, in re W (supra), an aunt, uncle and grandparent were
unable to persuade the court to exercise its jurisdiction in wardship
in relation to a child in care under the 1969 Act.  Further, in W v.
Nottinghamshire County Council, the Times, 16 November 1985, it was
held that, where there were statutory powers and duties available to
deal with a problem arising in the care of the child in the care of a
local authority, an attempt to pursue an alternative remedy by way of
wardship would not be permitted.

        Hence, only where the local authority itself chooses to
institute wardship proceedings, or abandons any objection to the
exercise by the High Court of its wardship jurisdiction, is the Court
likely to continue the wardship and actually make orders in respect of
the child which is a ward of court.

        Guardianship

        The submissions of the respondent Government as to the law are
accepted subject to pointing out that where an originating summons in
wardship is issued under the Supreme Court Act 1981, it is invariably
also issued under the 1971 Act and the Guardianship of Minors Act 1973
("the 1973 Act"), and that the High Court, on hearing the matter, is
hearing it both under its wardship jurisdiction and under the
statutory jurisdiction contained in the 1971 Act and the 1973 Act.
Three courts have jurisdiction under these acts, namely the
Magistrates' Court, the County Court and the High Court.  The choice
of court is that of the person issuing the proceedings.

        The respondent Government make no reference to the case of re
K (an infant) 1972 3 All ER 769, where the Divisional Court of the
Family Division held as follows:

        "While H, as putative father, had a right under Sections
        9 (1) and 14 (1) of the 1971 Act to make an application
        to the justices for an order granting access, the fact
        that at the material time the local authority had
        already assumed the parental rights by virtue of an
        order under Section 2 (i) (b) of the Children's Act 1948,
        left the justices no alternative but to decline the
        application and leave the discretion with regard to access
        to the local authority".

        In H v.  H (child in care) (court's jurisdiction) 1973 Fam. 63
a mother sought a direction from the court that her child, who had
been committed to the care of the local authority, should live with
certain foster parents.  The court held that, although there was
statutory jurisdiction, this jurisdiction would not be exercised where
a local authority was properly exercising its statutory duty, and the
court would not substitute its own discretion for that of the local
authority.  Similar conclusions were reached in Ellard v.  Ellard and
Cheshire County Council (unreported Supreme Court transcript 11
October 1978 and in re H (supra) on appeal before the Court of Appeal
1978 Fam. 65).

        Section 9 of the 1971 Act is intended to apportion parental
rights between parents.  Neither this Section, nor Section 14, which
applies to illegitimate children, is intended to enforce a right which
lies in the discretion of a local authority with a care order.  By
analogy, in Section 8 (7) in the Domestic Proceedings in the
Magistrates' Court Act 1978, there is an express provision against a
court ordering access in a dispute between parents where the child is
in the care of a local authority, and it is only under Sections 12 (A)
- (F) in the Child Care Act 1980 that a parent or guardian can obtain
an order for access where a local authority has denied access
altogether.  These provisions do not extend to putative fathers, and
were not brought into force until after the proceedings in the
Juvenile Court in the present case had been concluded.

        Admissibility and merits

                Article 6

        The applicant contends that matters concerning custody and
access are civil rights within the meaning of Article 6, and that the
applicant is therefore entitled to access to court for the
determination of these civil rights.  He further contends that these
rights are not lost upon the making of a place of safety order, an
interim care order, or a care order.

        Although the applicant accepts that, as between him and T's
mother, if circumstances warranted it, he could have applied in
respect of custody and/or access under Section 9 of the 1971 Act this
right is nugatory following the intervention of the local authority,
which either contemplates, or issues, care proceedings or obtains a
care order.  The applicant had the right to apply under the Wardship
and Guardianship jurisdiction, which he attempted to do by virtue of
his originating summons issued on 8 August 1983.  This summons was
issued having consulted solicitors as soon as the position was clear
to the applicant.  In view of the law set out above, no court will
intervene to review the decisions of local authorities, save in very
limited circumstances, irrelevant for the present case, unless the
local authority concerned abandons an objection to the High Court
exercising its jurisdiction.  This the local authority only did on 24
November 1983, in the present case, over six months after T was first
taken by the local authority under a Place of Safety Order.

        Between 10 June and 9 August 1983 the court exercising
jurisdiction in relation to T was a Juvenile Court which is
the most important forum for handling most cases concerning the
statutory code governing care proceedings.  In this period, therefore,
the applicant had to seek to enforce his custody and access rights
through the Juvenile Court, but this he could not do.

        Not only is he as a putative father not a party to the care
proceedings, but neither is the mother or the father of a legitimate
child.  Further, even if the applicant brought himself within the
definition of the "guardian" or "other person" (as referred to above),
the role he is allowed to play and the participation in the
proceedings which he is entitled to take are so circumscribed, limited
and discretionary that they do not entitle him to a fair hearing as
required by Article 6.

        The applicant was not entitled to be notified of the Place of
Safety Order being sought, had no right to be heard in respect of it
and has no appeal against the making of it.  He was not served with a
notice specifying the grounds for the proceedings and, although the
care proceedings are capable of affecting fundamentally his rights in
respect of custody and access to his child, the most he could hope to
achieve by way of a role in those proceedings was one which arises out
of his being classified as a "guardian" under the relevant
legislation.  If he could have obtained such a status, which is not
accepted, he would only be entitled to meet any allegations made
against him by calling or giving evidence.  He would have had no right
to make representations to the court, nor to cross-examine witnesses,
nor to have legal aid to pay for legal representation.  Even were he
to be allowed to cross-examine witnesses, the absence of legal aid
would prevent him from having the services of a lawyer, unless he were
able to pay privately, which he was not.  Nor could he make
submissions to the court as to the kind of order which it should make.

        By contrast, the local authority are party to the proceedings,
are legally represented, can call evidence, cross-examine witnesses,
and make representations to the court.  It is submitted that there is
a great inequality between the entitlements and resources of the local
authority and the applicant which does not meet the criteria of a fair
and public hearing as required by Article 6.

        Furthermore, the Juvenile Court could not make any order, even
had it wished to do so, which would ensure that T was placed either in
the custody, care and control of the applicant, or which would give the
applicant access.  If the court had declined to make any of the orders
which it had power to make, by virtue of his status as a putative
father, the applicant would not have been entitled to the custody,
care and control of the child, which would have stayed with the
mother.  A putative father only has such rights to custody or access
as are granted to him by a court under Section 9 of the 1971
Act; the Juvenile Court does not have jurisdiction under the 1971 Act
or the 1973 Act.

        Once a care order was made, parental rights and duties vested
in the local authority and any rights to care and control or access to
the child were determined by it and, save only for the limited
review available by way of judicial review, there was no independent
tribunal to which the applicant could apply for the determination of
any rights which he might have to custody, care, control or access.

        Even had the applicant issued proceedings under the 1971 Act
in the Magistrates' Court, those proceedings would not have come
before a Juvenile Court, but before the domestic court, and would not
have prevented the Juvenile Court in this case from hearing the care
proceedings.  The Juvenile Court in this case was on notice of the
wardship proceedings issued on 8 August 1983, but the Court declined
to adjourn its hearing on 9 August 1983.  Furthermore, even if the
applicant had obtained an order under Section 9 of the 1971 Act giving
him legal custody prior to the hearing of the Juvenile Court on 9
August 1983, his entitlement to participate in those proceedings would
still have been restricted, and he would still not have been a party
to them, nor entitled to legal aid.

        The applicant contends that he took all steps open to him in
the various proceedings to further his rights.  He does not accept
that he was "a guardian" for the purposes of the proceedings before
the Juvenile Court, and it is significant that the local authority did
not so regard him, and did not serve him with notice of the
proceedings, as they would have been obliged to do under the relevant
Rules, if he was a guardian.  The respondent Government's contention,
that the applicant would be regarded by a court as the principal carer
for T at the time when the Place of Safety Order was obtained in
respect of the child, fails to take account of the fact that the child
was in both the legal and actual custody of his mother from the end of
May 1983 to 10 June 1983, and that her custodial rights continued
until, at the earliest, 16 June 1983, when the interim Care Order was
made, or, at the latest, the making of the Care Order on 9 August
1983.  Further, there was no justifiable reasons for the applicant to
have applied for legal custody under Section 9 of the 1971 Act, before
the end of May 1983 while still living with H and T.  This course
suggested by the respondent Government is both ill-founded and
unreasonable, and would have been likely to have caused more problems
in the family which would have been likely in turn to have affected
the child.

        Nor is it accepted that the applicant did not pursue his
remedies with the necessary vigour, as contended by the Government.
Having learned of the situation in consulting solicitors, who applied
for legal aid to commence proceedings in the High Court, the
applicant's proceedings were commenced as soon as possible.  Legal aid
was granted on 3 August 1983, and the originating summons issued on
8 August 1983.  The applicant's notice of appointment to hear the
summons was issued on the same day, returnable on 1 September 1983, a
date appointed by the court.  On that date the local authority
contested the jurisdiction of the court, but was ordered to file an
affidavit within twenty-one days of H filing her affidavit.  Despite
many requests, both oral and in writing, by the applicant's solicitors
and despite the fact that it became apparent that the mother would not
be filing evidence in accordance with the Order of 1 September 1983 in
view of her mental condition, the local authority delayed until 29
November 1983 before filing an affidavit.

        The hearing date of 19 January 1984 was obtained on
12 September 1983, as the first available court date.  The hearing on
19 January 1984 was adjourned for the reasons set out above, in view
of the unexpected proposal by the local authority that T should be
adopted.  However, when it appeared that no adjourned hearing date
would be available until May 1984, the applicant applied ex parte
on 10 February 1984, seeking expedition.  The application was
dismissed as there was no court available prior to May 1984.

        Nevertheless, under Order 90 Rule 3 of the Supreme Court Rules
and the practice direction of 16 July 1982, the initiative for
obtaining an expedited hearing should be taken by the Registrar of the
court.

        In all the circumstances, it is submitted that the applicant
did all that was possible for him to do to obtain a hearing within a
reasonable time, but that the period which elapsed from 8 August 1983
to the commencement of the hearing on 1 May 1984 was not reasonable in
all the circumstances.

                Article 8

        The applicant contends that no respect was shown for his
family life, and that this interference with his rights under Article 8
was unjustified under Article 8 para. 2.

        The applicant refers in this respect to the following matters
in particular:


        i.  The local authority having obtained a Place of
        Safety Order, failed properly to investigate and
        consider the applicant and his family as a suitable
        place for the child, despite the fact that the
        only home T had known until June 1983 had been
        with the applicant; a report was ultimately
        requested from Miss W, which was prepared on
        31 August 1983.  During this period, the local
        authority did not visit, or request a visit to,
        the applicant at his home in London, or
        his parents, who, on the evidence, had clearly
        played an important role in T's early life.

        ii.  The failure of the local authority properly
        to inform, consult and allow participation by
        the applicant in its decisions as to the
        placement of T with foster parents, access
        for the applicant and his parents, and
        the decision on the adoption of T.

        iii.  The applicant's inability in law as set out
        above effectively to challenge the decisions
        of the local authority before an independent
        tribunal and effectively and adequately to
        participate in the care proceedings, which were
        the legal process for the transference of the
        parental rights over T to the local authority.

        iv.  The decision reached by the local authority,
        without consultation prior to 5 September 1983,
        to place the child with long-term foster parents,
        before the High Court had the opportunity
        to consider the merits of the applicant's case.

        v.  The denial of all access for the applicant to
        the child between 10 June 1983 and 21 August 1983
        when the applicant was allowed to see T for one
        hour at the local authority's offices.
        Thereafter, between 21 August 1983 and
        24 November 1983 the local authority restricted
        access to one hour per month.

        vi.  The lapse of time from 8 August 1983 until
        1 May 1984 for the hearing of the applicant's
        case to commence.  This delay was largely caused
        by the local authority's failure properly to inform
        the applicant and the court that it wished
        eventually for there to be an adoption order in
        respect of T.

        The applicant submits that there is no justification for the
above matters.  The existence of the applicant's right to apply in
wardship and under the 1971 Act and 1973 Act until 24 November 1983
was thwarted by the refusal of the local authority to abandon its
objection to the exercise of jurisdiction by the court.  This
unjustifiably delayed the applicant's case and did not provide a
remedy speedily enough for the applicant to ensure respect for his
family life.  Nor were the measures referred to above justified on the
grounds of the protection of the health or morals of the child, or his
welfare.  The denial, and subsequent restriction, of access to the
applicant was a fundamental interference with his family life and was
neither desirable nor in the child's best interests.  This is
illustrated by the Order of 24 November 1983, the Order of the Court
on 20 June 1984 in respect of access to the applicant, and its
confirmation by the Court of Appeal in September 1984.

        The respondent Government's attempts to justify the denial and
restriction of access are unfounded.  It is unreasonable to suggest
that the applicant should have taken guardianship proceedings before
H went to the country at the end of May 1983.  The evidence before the
court was that, although the mother had problems prior to May 1983,
family life, on the whole, was happy.  The applicant submits that it is
wrong that a person should have to take steps in anticipation of a
breach of the Convention, and that the law itself should safeguard
against such breaches.

        The lack of justification for preventing access during this
period is illustrated by the ultimate decisions of the High Court and
Court of Appeal to permit access.  It is not accepted that any earlier
access would have interfered with the plan of rehabilitation between T
and his mother adopted by the local authority between June and
September 1983.  The local authority in fact abandoned its decision
to attempt rehabilitation with the mother prior to that date, and
allowed the applicant access to T in August 1983.

        Nor, in the circumstances of the present case, can the fact
that the local authority observed the mother's wish that the applicant
should not have access to T, provide sufficient justification under
Article 8 para. 2.  The local authority obtained an interim Care Order
in respect of T on 16 June 1983.  The applicant asked the local
authority's representative to see his son subsequent to that date and
was refused on the basis that this was not the wish of the mother.
However, parental rights and duties in respect of T vested in the
local authority at that time, and it was their duty to promote and
safeguard the welfare of the child in his best interests.  It was not
sufficient for the local authority to rely on the opinion of the
mother, whose parental rights it had assumed under the interim Care
Order.  Part of T's entitlement to respect for his own family life was
to see his father, the applicant, and there was no reason why the
rights of all three members of the family could not have been
protected, rather than the policy adopted by the local authority, of
giving precedence to the rights of the mother.

        This problem was recognised by the Court of Appeal in its
judgment at page 5, where the Court held:


        "Had the case been differently handled in the early
        days, it seems to me that it is possible that the
        child would have been restored to his father soon
        after the [local authority] realised that
        the mother was not fit to look after the boy and
        was going to remain unfit for a substantial period
        of time.  But it did not happen.  The result is
        that the father who, on the material before us,
        appears to be burning with general resentment of
        what he regards as a grave injustice, not only
        to himself but to his son, which is more
        important - because, as a result of what he
        regards as this mishandling of the case by the
        [local authority] he lost the opportunity of
        recovering the little boy whom he had been
        looking after during the first eleven months
        of his life to a most remarkable degree of
        success."


        Subsequently the Court held at page 12:


        "It is important that any court that has to consider
        any aspects of this case in the future should
        appreciate that the pattern of events can be explained
        as a consequence of the view earlier formed by
        [the local authority] that sooner or later this
        little boy had got to be adopted.  The idea that
        because the father never married the mother he is
        not eligible to look after his son cannot, of course,
        be supported.  The important thing is that the history
        of access and the initial cutting off of the father
        from his son was based on an appreciation of the
        facts which may now be regarded as less than
        completely comprehensive."


        It is accepted that, once the local authority had abandoned its
objection to the wardship jurisdiction on 24 November 1983, the
applicant was able to challenge its decisions on access, albeit that
the remedy was too slow to be effective.  However, the local authority
is given the initiative in wardship proceedings, where the child is in
its care, since it can refuse jurisdiction and, subject to the
opportunity for judicial review, will succeed in so doing.

        The applicant further contends that the measure of discretion
given to domestic courts in their decisions, recognised in
Application No. 10148/82, Garcia v.  Switzerland, Dec. 4.3.85 (not yet
published) is not applicable in the present case, where the applicant
complains that the decisions made by the local authority, and his
inability to challenge them up to 24 November 1983, were followed by a
time delay which resulted in a breach of Article 8 of the Convention.

        Hence it is contended that the applicant's right to respect
for his family life was unjustifiably interfered with by the premature
decision of the local authority in respect of T, which failed to take
account of the applicant's involvement with the child, or involve him
in any way in the decision-making process.

                Article 13

        The applicant submits that he had no effective remedy in
relation to the Place of Safety Order, the interim Care Order and the
Care Order, and that the law in relation to wardship and guardianship
proceedings was not an effective remedy until 24 November 1983, when
the local authority withdrew its objections to the exercise of
jurisdiction.  The remedy available thereafter had its effect
drastically reduced because of the time taken before the matter could be
heard, and the time which had already elapsed, factors made more
important by the age of the child.

        The proceedings in the Juvenile Court did not prevent the
wardship court from considering the applicant's originating summons,
but the existence of the interim Care Order and the Care Order
prevented the wardship court from considering the case on its merits
in the light of the objections made, until 24 November 1983.
Furthermore, the Juvenile Court declined to adjourn its hearing on
9 August 1983 in the light of the wardship and guardianship proceedings
which the applicant had issued.

        As to the remainder, the applicant relies on his submissions
made in his original application.

                Article 14

        The applicant relies on the submissions made in his original
application.


THE LAW

1.      The applicant complains first that, when T was taken into the
care of the local authority, he was first denied access to him and
thereafter granted only limited access to him.  He submits that he was
unable to participate adequately in the care proceedings before the
Juvenile Court and was not consulted by the local authority in the
decision-making process concerning T's future.  He also complains that
he had no effective and timely remedies against these matters.  In
respect of these complaints the applicant first invokes Article 8
(Art. 8) of the Convention which provides:

"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
society 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 applicant contends that the matters about which he
complains show that the local authority failed to respect his family
life with T.  He argues that there was no justification for this under
Article 8 para. 2 (Art. 8-2) of the Convention.  He also contends that
he was discriminated against contrary to Article 14 (Art. 14) of the
Convention either on the grounds of his sex, or on the grounds of his
unmarried status, or on both grounds.  Article 14 (Art. 14) of the
Convention provides:


"The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this
Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any
ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion,
political or other opinion, national or social origin,
association with a national minority, property, birth or
other status."

        The respondent Government have contended that the measures
taken by the local authority were dictated by the need to further T's
best interests.  Without contending that the applicant has failed to
comply with Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention, they submit that
it would have been open to him to have formalised his relations with T
by taking guardianship proceedings.  Had the applicant been successful
in such proceedings, he would have been granted custody of T, if that
had been in the child's best interests.  The care proceedings might
not then have arisen.

        The respondent Government also contend that the decisions of the
local authority to refuse, and later restrict, access to T were taken in
the child's best interests, since the child needed stability and,
initially, the local authority was seeking to rehabilitate the child
with H.  Any interference with the applicant's right to respect for
his family life with T was therefore justified under Article 8 para. 2
(Art. 8-2) of the Convention as in accordance with the law and
necessary in a democratic society for the protection of T's health.

        Furthermore, they submit that any difference in treatment of
the applicant as an unmarried father as compared with H, or a married
father, has a reasonable and objective justification in the interests
of legal certainty.  They therefore deny that the applicant was
discriminated against.

        The question of the existence or non-existence of "family
life" is essentially a question of fact depending upon the real
existence in practice of close personal ties and, according to the
established case law of the Commission and the Court, "respect" for
family life in this sense implies:

        "An obligation for the State to act in a manner calculated
        to allow these ties to develop normally" (Eur.  Court H.R.,
        Marckx judgment of 13 June 1979, Series A no. 31, p. 21,
        para. 45).

        This obligation is not limited to compelling a state to
abstain from interference with family life, but, as the Court
recognised in the same judgment (para. 31), this provision may require
the existence in domestic law of legal safeguards that render family
life possible.  The primacy of a natural parent's relationship with
his or her child as family life is clearly implicit in the terms of
Articles 8 and 12 (Art. 8, 12) of the Convention and Article 2 First
Protocol (P1-2), but the Commission has equally recognised that in
proceedings relating to the welfare of children, the interests of the
children themselves may override those of their natural parents.  Such
a possibility is recognised by Article 8 para. 2 (Art. 8-2) of the
Convention, and an interference with family life, and with the primacy
of a natural parent's relationship with his or her child, may be
justifiable under Article 8 para. 2 (Art. 8-2) in the interests of the
child's health.

        In the present case the applicant is the unmarried father of
T.  However, the respondent Government do not contest, and the
Commission finds it established, that family life protected by Article
8 (Art. 8) of the Convention existed between the applicant and T prior
to the child being taken into the care of the local authority.

        In these circumstances the Commission finds the question
whether the local authority failed to show respect to the applicant's
family life with T, and whether any interference therewith, arising
from the limitation of access and of the applicant's involvement in
the decision-making process concerning T's future, was justified under
Article 8 para. 2 (Art. 8-2) of the Convention raises difficult issues
of fact and law, which are of such complexity that their determination
should depend upon a full examination of the merits.

        It follows that this part of the application is not manifestly
ill-founded and must be declared admissible, no other ground for
declaring it inadmissible having been established.

2.      The applicant further complains that he was denied an
"effective remedy" within the meaning of Article 13 (Art. 13) of the
Convention, and a "fair hearing within a reasonable time before an
independent and impartial tribunal" within the meaning of Article 6
para. 1 (Art. 6-1) of the Convention in relation to his
dissatisfaction with the decisions of the local authority concerning
his access to T and the child's future.

        The respondent Government contend that adequate remedies were
available to the applicant to attempt to vindicate his claims, in
conformity with Articles 6 and 13 (Art. 6, 13) of the Convention.
They refer, in particular, to the availability of guardianship
proceedings both before and after the Care Order was made, the
opportunity for the applicant to participate in the care proceedings
themselves and to the wardship proceedings.  They submit that the
length of the proceedings did not exceed a reasonable time and that
the applicant failed to take all available steps to accelerate them.

        According to the established case-law of the Commission
interpreting Article 13 (Art. 13), an applicant who claims that his rights
guaranteed by the Convention have been violated, must have an
effective remedy before a national authority for that claim.  The word
"remedy" in this sense does not mean that the applicant's claim must
be vindicated and that the applicant must "win".  He must have an
opportunity for his claim to be examined by a national authority
conforming to the requirements of Article 13 (Art. 13), which is able
to examine the merits of his complaint.  The Convention provides a
fuller procedural guarantee in respect of certain claims (e.g. civil
rights); the Commission has recognised that the procedural guarantees
of Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1) take precedence over those of Article
13 (Art. 13) where a "civil right" is at issue, because the guarantees
of this Article are more rigorous than those of Article 13 (Art. 13).

        The Commission notes that certain remedies were available to
the applicant and he made use of some of them.  However, there was
no specific remedy available to him, either on a judicial or an
administrative level, for the sole question of his access to T, until
the local authority withdrew its objection to the wardship
proceedings; those proceedings were thereby delayed until 24 November
1983.

        Furthermore, under English law, the applicant's legal
relationship with T was determined by the fact that he is the child's
unmarried father.  As a result, he did not formally enjoy parental
rights in respect of T even before the child came into the care of the
local authority.  Nevertheless, the Commission has found that family
life protected by Article 8 (Art. 8) of the Convention existed between the
applicant and T prior to the events of June 1983.  In addition, the
effect of the Care Order which was ultimately granted to the local
authority was not to prohibit the applicant's access to T, as is shown
by the fact that the local authority allowed such access from
21 August 1983 onwards.

        The Commission considers that in these circumstances it cannot
decide whether the question of the applicant's access to T involved
the "determination of civil rights" within the meaning of Article 6
para. 1 (Art. 6-1) of the Convention and, if so, whether the
requirements of that Article were satisfied by the proceedings in
question, without a full examination of the law and facts of the case.
In addition, the question whether the applicant had an "effective
remedy" for the interference which he alleges with his right to
respect for his family life, as required by Article 13 (Art. 13) of
the Convention, also raises difficult questions of fact and law which
can only be resolved by an examination of the merits.

        It follows that this part of the application cannot be
declared manifestly ill-founded and is therefore admissible, no other
ground for inadmissibility having been established.

        For these reasons, the Commission, without any way prejudging
the merits

DECLARES THE APPLICATION ADMISSIBLE

Deputy Secretary to the Commission     Acting President of the Commission




     (J. RAYMOND)                              (J. A. FROWEIN)