AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

                  Application No. 11996/86
                  by P.B. and A.O.
                  against Sweden


        The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private
on 4 May 1987 the following members being present:


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

              Mr.  H. C. KRÜGER 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 24 October 1985
by P.B. and A.O. against Sweden and registered on
13 February 1986 under file N°  11996/86;

        Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 40 of the
Rules of Procedure of the Commission;

        Having deliberated;

        Decides as follows:

THE FACTS

        The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicants,
may be summarised as follows.

        The applicants are Swedish citizens born in 1953 and 1949
respectively.  The first applicant lives at Spånga and the second
applicant lives in Stockholm.

        The applicants have previously brought two applications before
the Commission.  Application No. 8811/79 was declared inadmissible on
13 May 1982 (No. 8811/79, Dec. 13.5.82, D.R. 29 p. 104).  Application
No. 10925/84 was declared inadmissible on 9 July 1985 (No. 10925/84,
Dec. 9.7.85, unpublished).  Both applications concerned the same
factual and legal background, namely the effects in Sweden of the Code
of Parenthood (föräldrabalken) as amended on 1 January 1979 which
prohibits all corporal punishment of children.

        From the applicants' two previous applications it appears that
they belong to a protestant free church congregation in Stockholm and
that they believe in "traditional" means of bringing up their
children.  In particular as an aspect of their religious doctrine they
believe in the necessity of physical punishment of their children.

        None of the applicants have been prosecuted under the present
Swedish law for any incident of corporal punishment nor have any of
them lost the custody of their children for this reason.  Nevertheless
they express fears that they may be prosecuted for assault of their
children following any incident of corporal punishment and that this
could influence the authorities in their consideration of their
suitability to bring up their children.

        In Application No. 8811/79 the applicants invoked Articles 8
and 9 of the Convention as well as Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 to the
Convention.  After having obtained from the Swedish Government
observations on the admissibility and merits of the application, the
Commission found that the applicants' complaints were manifestly
ill-founded.  In its decision the Commission wrote inter alia:

        "The exact practical effects of the provision about which the
        applicants complain remain obscure.  The applicants have not
        been directly subjected to any enforcement or other procedure
        arising from their disagreement with the Code which might
        constitute an interference with their rights.  Nor have they
        provided any examples of its interpretation or application by
        the Swedish authorities in other cases.  They have further
        contended that the provisions of the Code may be relied
        upon in deciding questions as to the custody of children, but
        again they have not illustrated this submission and the
        Commission must therefore find from the facts before it that
        this has not actually occurred.  Furthermore the information
        provided by the Swedish Government tends to confirm that this
        incomplete law is without any direct practical effect beyond
        that of attempting to encourage the reappraisal of the
        treatment of children."

        In their second Application No. 10925/84 the applicants
provided examples of cases involving the corporal punishment of
children.  The applicants contended that the cases referred to
provided evidence of the matters of which they complained.

        In its decision of 9 July 1985 the Commission stated
inter alia:

        "The applicants provide information relating to various
        criminal prosecutions concerning parents who have corporally
        punished their children.  They claim that these cases
        indicate that the Amendment to the Code of Parenthood
        (Föräldrabalken), now Chapter 6, Section 3 of the Code,
        has been enforced by the Swedish courts through increasing
        criminal prosecutions for minor incidents of corporal
        punishment of children by their parents.  However, the
        Commission notes that the individuals prosecuted in the
        cases to which the applicants have made reference were
        prosecuted pursuant to Chapter 3, Section 5 of the
        Penal Code for a minor assault ('misshandel').  This
        provision of the Penal Code is independent and distinct
        from Chapter 6, Section 3 of the Code of Parenthood, about
        which the applicants complain.  Moreover, the Swedish courts
        make no reference to Chapter 6, Section 3 of the Code of
        Parenthood in the transcripts which have been submitted to
        the Commission.  In these circumstances the Commission does
        not consider that it has been established that Chapter 6,
        Section 3 of the Code of Parenthood is the legal authority
        for any of the cases to which the applicants refer and the
        cases referred to do not therefore appear to be 'relevant'
        information such as to permit the Commission to examine the
        present complaint in accordance with Article 27 para. 1 (b)
        of the Convention."

        The Commission accordingly concluded that it was prevented by
Article 27 para. 1 (b) of the Convention from dealing with the
application.

        In the present case the applicants have pointed out that it is
correct when the Commission in its above decision stated that the
Swedish courts made no reference to Chapter 6, Section 3 of the Code
of Parenthood in the transcripts which had been submitted to it.  In
1983 however, the Code of Parenthood was amended and the content of
the previous Chapter 6, Section 3 is now to be found in Chapter 6,
Section 1 of the Code.  The court transcripts submitted to the
Commission in the previous application referred to Chapter 6,
Section 1 of the Code of Parenthood.  The Commission's decision was
accordingly based on a misunderstanding caused by the change of the
Code of Parenthood in 1983.  It was not correct, therefore, when the
Commission stated that "moreover, the Swedish courts make no reference
to Chapter 6, Section 3 of the Code of Parenthood in the transcripts
which have been submitted to the Commission".

        The applicants find that it has now been established that the
Code of Parenthood was the legal authority for convicting the persons
mentioned in the cases submitted by them.

COMPLAINTS


        The applicants repeat the complaints contained in their two
previous applications, namely that the amendment to the Swedish law
relating to the corporal punishment of children violates their right
to respect for family life, to freedom of religion, and to respect for
their right to ensure that their children's education and teaching is
in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions,
in breach of Articles 8 and 9 of the Convention and Article 2 of
Protocol No. 1 to the Convention.

THE LAW

        The applicants' present application is identical to their two
previous applications.  They have pointed out, however, that the
Commission's decision in Application No. 10925/84 was based on
information that was not consistent with the correct factual
circumstances.  They refer in this respect to the fact that the
Commission in its decision stated that the Swedish courts had made no
reference to Chapter 6, Section 3 of the Code of Parenthood in the
court transcripts.  The applicants have pointed out that this is
correct.  However, the Code of Parenthood was amended in 1983 and the
relevant text is now contained in Chapter 6, Section 1 which was in
fact referred to in the court transcripts.

        Under Article 27 para. 1 (b) (Art. 27-1-b) the Commission shall not
deal with any petition submitted under Article 25 (Art. 25) which is
substantially the same as a matter which has already been examined by
the Commission or has already been submitted to another procedure of
international investigation or settlement and if it contains no
relevant new information.  As stated above the Commission finds that
the present application is identical to the previous applications
introduced by the applicants.  The only remaining question is
therefore whether the present application contains any new information
which may be regarded as relevant to the Commission's examination of
the application under the Convention.

        As pointed out by the applicants it is correct that reference
to Chapter 6, Section 1 of the Code of Parenthood is made in the court
transcripts submitted by them.  However, it remains a fact that the
individuals in the cases referred to were prosecuted pursuant to
Chapter 3, Section 5 of the Swedish Penal Code for minor assault and
that this provision of the Penal Code is independent and distinct from
the Code of Parenthood.  The reference to Chapter 6, Section 1 of the
Code of Parenthood does not change that position.  Accordingly the
matters to which the applicants now refer do not constitute new
relevant information such as might distinguish their present
application from Applications Nos. 8811/79 and 10925/84 which the
Commission has already examined.

        The Commission therefore concludes that the present
application must be rejected in accordance with Article 27 para. 1 (b)
(Art. 27-1-b) of the Convention.

        For this reason, the Commission

        DECLARES THE APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE

Secretary to the Commission         President of the Commission



    (H. C. KRÜGER)                       (C. A. NØRGAARD)