P.S. and ors. v. Denmark
Human Rights Committee
Communication No. 397/1990
Date of communication: 15 February 1990
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
P.S. and the mother of his child divorced and custody was awarded to his ex-wife. The relevant authorities awarded him visitation rights on the condition that he refrain from teaching his son the Jehovah’s Witness faith in accordance with his ex-wife’s wishes. In Danish law, the parent granted custody has responsibility for making decisions related to the child’s religious education. P.S. made several appeals against this condition and submitted a complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman, but did not apply for judicial review. P.S.’s complaint focussed on the alleged violation of his rights to religion, assembly and private and family life.
The Committee found this complaint inadmissible on the grounds that P.S. had not made an application for judicial review, and so had not exhausted domestic remedies. P.S.’s reasons for not applying for judicial review, namely that the expense and his belief that it would not provide an adequate remedy, were not considered sufficient. No decision was made on the merits of the case.
In an individual opinion, Mr. Bertil Wennergren said he would be willing hear the complaint, as it was not possible to appeal against the decision of the Ombudsman, but considered that the potential conflict of interest between P.S.’s right to respect for his religion and the rights of his son might render it inappropriate for P.S. to represent his son in the complaint.
Link to Full Judgement:
This summary is provided by the Child Rights International Network for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.