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Bertrand v. Ulloa

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Izaguiree Bertrand v. Barcenas Ulloa

Supreme Court of Honduras (Suprema de Justicia de Honduras)

January 13, 2004

CRC Provisions:
Article 3: Best interests of the child
Article 4: Implementation of rights
Article 5: Parental guidance and the child’s evolving capacities

Other International Provisions:
American Convention of Human Rights, Article 8

Domestic Provisions:
Family Code, Articles 194, 195, 196 (provisional rules of parent-child communication)

Case Summary:

In a child custody proceeding, the trial court granted the mother full custody of her two children and ordered that the father have limited visitation rights under a provisional plan. The father appealed the decision, arguing that the court had overstepped its authority in severely limiting his contact with the children.

Issue and resolution:
Custody. The Supreme Court denied the father’s appeal and upheld the custody order.

Court reasoning:
Under Articles 194, 195 and 196 of the Family Code, family courts are authorised to set boundaries for contact between parents and their children, especially where that contact might be harmful to the child. In this case, in accordance with Article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the court limited the father’s rights in order to ensure the child’s protection and care. This was also in accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of the Convention, which obligate the Government to undertake measures that give effect to children’s rights, accounting for parental guidance and leadership in line with the evolving capacities of the child.

Excerpts citing CRC and other relevant human rights instruments

as translated by CRIN:

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of Article 3, paragraph 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was signed by the State of Honduras, [the State] undertakes to ensure protection and care as is necessary for a child’s welfare, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, and to this end took appropriate administrative measures in line with the resolution issued by the Court in this case.

WHEREAS, under Articles 4 and 5 of the Convention [on the Rights of the Child], the State will adopt administrative measures to give effect to the rights recognized in the Convention, especially those that relate to the evolving capacities of children as well as those attending to their leadership and guidance.

CRIN Comments:
CRIN believes this decision is consistent with the CRC in that the best interests of children must be a primary consideration in all matters that concern them under Article 3 of the Convention.

SJCSJ-AF0083, Marco Antonio Izaguirre Bertrand vs. Diana Barcenas Ulloa, Suprema de Justicia de Honduras, Certifcado del 13 Enero de 2004

Link to Full Judgment:

This case summary is provided by the Child Rights International Network for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.