Court/Judicial body: Supreme Court of the Dominican Republic
Date: January 24, 2007 CRC
Provisions: Article 3: Best interests of the child
Domestic provisions: Law 136-03, Code for the Protection and Rights of Children and Adolescents Law 76-02, Code of Criminal Procedure
Background: A mother sued the father of her son for child support. The lower court ruled that the procedure for establishing child support would fall under the Code of Criminal Procedure. This decision was appealed, and in a preliminary hearing, the Supreme Court stated that child support procedures should be governed by the Code for the Protection and Rights of Children and Adolescents.
Issue and resolution: Child support. The Court ruled that the procedures for setting child support should in all instances be governed by the Code for the Protection and Rights of Children and Adolescents.
Court reasoning: Law 136-03 establishes that children and adolescents have all the same fundamental rights that adults have. In all actions concerning children, the best interests of the child are primary. In any legislation that specifically affects children, the state must protect children’s fundamental rights with “absolute priority,” especially when those rights are in conflict with other legitimate rights and interests.
Excerpt citing CRC and other relevant human rights instrumentsas translated by CRIN: Considering that Law 136-03, which establishes the Code for the Protection and Fundamental Rights of Children and Adolescents, reads: “all children and adolescents are the subject of rights. Accordingly, they have all the fundamental rights of human beings, especially those that relate to their development, and those contained in this Code, the Constitution of the Republic, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international instruments.” … According to the postulate of the third Article the Convention on the Rights of the Child, “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration. ” The principle of the “best interests of the child or adolescent” found in the indicated Convention on the Rights of the Child and assimilated by the aforementioned regulations states that the best interests of the child must always be taken into account in the interpretation and application of Law 136-03, Code for System of Protection of Fundamental Rights of Children And Adolescents…
CRIN comments: CRIN believes this decision is consistent with the CRC. As noted by the Court, children’s best interests must be a primary consideration in all proceedings that concern them under Article 3 of the Convention, including determinations of child support.
Citation: Sentencia del 24 de Enero del 2007
Link to full judgement: http://www.poderjudicial.gob.do/consultas/consultas_sentencias/detalle_i…