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Justice for a mother who lost custody of her child

Šobota-Gajić v. Bosnia and Herzegovina  | 2007

Justice for a mother who lost custody of her child

Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life...

Extract from Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Background

Verica Šobota-Gajić left her husband in 2001, complaining of domestic violence. She was granted custody of their children. However, her former husband abducted their son. The authorities did nothing to help Ms Šobota-Gajić for many years. Due to their inaction, she only regained custody of her child in 2007.

Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights

The Strasbourg court ruled that the authorities had failed to take steps to reunite Ms Šobota-Gajić with her son, despite court decisions in her favour. This had breached her right to family life. 

Follow-up

Due to legal reforms in Bosnia & Herzegovina, the courts, police and other public authorities now have more powers to make sure the right people have custody of a child – particularly when a parent has been the victim of domestic violence.    

Additional information