Application No. 12681/87
by Christine SAMS, Ian SAMS and Trevor SAMS
against the United Kingdom


        The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private on
11 May 1988, the following members being present:

                MM.  C.A. NØRGAARD, President
                     J.A. FROWEIN
                     S. TRECHSEL
                     G. SPERDUTI
                     E. BUSUTTIL
                     G. JÖRUNDSSON
                     A.S. GÖZÜBÜYÜK
                     A. WEITZEL
                     J.C. SOYER
                     H.G. SCHERMERS
                     H. DANELIUS
                     G. BATLINER
                     H. VANDENBERGHE
                Mrs.  G.H. THUNE
                Sir  Basil HALL
                MM.  F. MARTINEZ
                     C.L. ROZAKIS
                Mrs.  J. LIDDY

                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 19 December
1982 by Christine SAMS, Ian SAMS and Trevor SAMS against the United
Kingdom and registered on 29 January 1987 under file No. 12681/87;

        Having regard to:

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

     -  the Commission's decision of 4 December 1984 to bring
        the application to the notice of the respondent Government
        and invite them to submit written observations on its
        admissibility and merits;


- ii -



     -  the observations submitted by the respondent Government on
        26 April 1985 and the observations in reply submitted
        by the applicants on 6 September 1985;

     -  the Commission's decision of 8 May 1987 to invite the
        respondent Government to submit further observations on
        the admissibility and merits of the case;

     -  the proposal put forward by the Government on 3 February
        1988;

     -  the qualified acceptance of that proposal by the applicants'
        representatives on 6 and 22 April 1988;

        Having deliberated;

        Decides as follows:


THE FACTS

        The applicants, United Kingdom citizens, are a mother and
her two sons.  They live in County Durham.  The second and third
applicants were born in 1966 and 1970 respectively and they both
attended the same state comprehensive school.  The applicants are
represented before the Commission by Messrs.  Binks, Stern and
Partners, Solicitors, London.

        The second applicant was caned by school teachers on eight
occasions between 11 June 1980 and 10 November 1982, the punishment
varying from one to six strokes.

        The third applicant was caned on or around 26 May 1982.  The
first applicant alleged that she was informed by the school headmaster
that if she and the third applicant would not accept the punishment he
would be suspended for a time from school.  They claimed that the third
applicant received three strokes of the cane, whereas the Government
stated that he received one stroke.

        The first applicant claimed to have made it clear to the
school that she objected to the corporal punishment of her children.


COMPLAINTS

        The applicants complained to the Commission that the corporal
punishment constituted violations of Articles 3 and 8 of the
Convention and Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention.


PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

        The application was introduced on 19 December 1982 and first
registered under file No. 11006/84 along with 5 other cases.  It was
then re-registered under a separate file No. 12681/87 on 29 January
1987.

        After a preliminary examination of the case by the Rapporteur,
the Commission considered the admissibility of the application on
4 December 1984.  It 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 invite them to submit written observations on the
admissibility and merits of the application.

        The Government's observations were received on 26 April 1985,
to which the applicants replied on 6 September 1985.

        On 8 May 1987, the Commission decided to invite the respondent
Government to submit further observations on the admissibility and
merits of the application pursuant to Rule 43 para. 3 (a) of the Rules
of Procedure.

        However, further observations were not submitted and the
Government expressed the wish on 5 August 1987 to explore the
possibility of resolving the case.

        The Commission decided on 12 December 1987 to suspend the
proceedings and to invite the Government to make specific proposals
for the resolution of the application.

        On 3 February 1988 the Government made the following offer:
The Government recalled the provisions of the Education (No. 2) Act
1986 and the abolition of corporal punishment in United Kingdom state
schools.  Moreover, without prejudice to their position on the merits
of the application, they proposed an ex gratia payment of £4500 to
the applicants.

        The applicants' representatives responded on 6 April 1988 with
a proposal that £3000 be paid for the punishment of the second
applicant and the alleged breach of Article 3 of the Convention, that
£1500 be paid for the punishment of the third applicant and the
further alleged breach of Article 3 of the Convention and that £1500
be paid for the continued corporal punishment of the children after
the first applicant had informed the school of her opposition to such
punishment and the alleged breach of Article 2 of Protocol No. 1.  A
request was also made for the payment of reasonable legal costs.
Nevertheless the applicants' representatives stressed that if, in
spite of arguments they had advanced in support of their claims, the
Commission felt that the Government's offer was reasonable, the
applicants would be prepared to accept it.

        By letter of 19 April 1988 the Government stated that their
offer consisted of a global ex gratia payment which in their view
was, in all the circumstances, reasonable.

        The applicants' representatives responded on 22 April 1988
requesting the Commission to decide the matter, whilst emphasising
that the Government's offer had not been rejected by their clients.


REASONS FOR THE DECISION

        The Commission notes the Government's offer of a global ex
gratia sum of £4500 to resolve this application.  It also notes
that the applicants have not rejected this offer, should the Commission
consider it reasonable.  The Commission finds the Government's offer
adequate in all the circumstances of the case.  Accordingly, the
applicants may be deemed to have accepted it.  Furthermore, the
Commission considers, given the reform of the law on corporal
punishment in state schools, that there are no reasons of a general
character affecting the observance of the Convention which necessitate
the further retention of this case.  The Commission, therefore,
concludes that the issues in the case are resolved and that, in the
circumstances, the applicants do not intend to pursue this application
(Rule 44 para. 1 (b) of the Commission's Rules of Procedure).

        For these reasons, the Commission

        DECIDES TO STRIKE THE APPLICATION OFF ITS LIST OF CASES.


   Secretary to the Commission           President of the Commission



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