On 12 July 2016, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against France in the cases of A.B. and Others v France, R.M. and M.M. v France, A.M. and Others v France, R.K. v France. The cases concerned the issue of administrative detention of children who are accompanying their parents in the context of a deportation procedure. The Court considered that, given the children’s age and the duration and conditions of their administrative detention, the French authorities had subjected these children to inhuman and degrading treatment, violating article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

In four of the cases, the Court found that the families’ placement in administrative detention was not a measure of last resort and that the domestic authorities failed to explore all other viable alternatives. As a result, the Court found a violation of the right to liberty and security (Article 5, paragraph 1 of the ECHR) and of the right to a speedy review of the lawfulness of detention (Article 5, paragraph 4).

In two of the cases, the Court also found that there had been a disproportionate interference with the right to respect for family life (Article 8 of the ECHR).

For more detailed information on the cases, see this week’s ELENA Weekly Legal Update.

For further information:

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 15 July 2016. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.