Key facts of the case:
The district court in Olomouc released a resolution 22.9.2010 n. 38 Nc 1402/2009-260 by which L.V was deprived of his parental rights and responsibilities to his two children A and D.V. Father L.V was found guilty of murder by a regional court in Ostrava 13.1.2010 and sentenced to 14 years and 6 months of imprisonment. The district court stated that although the behaviour of the father was not focused against the children, he still caused them a huge mental distress which will have life lasting effects. By this behaviour he misused his parental rights according to s.44 (3) of The Family Act and therefore will be deprived of his parental rights and responsibilities. The appellate court confirmed the decision and it added that such behaviour was an unacceptable example to the children and therefore he violated even s.32 of the Family Act. L.V filed a petition for review in the Supreme Court. He claimed that the act was pointed only at the mother of the children not them and that it can’t be interpreted as a violation of s.43 of the Family Act, for he had not acted contrary to his parental responsibilities. He also said that it is proved, that his daughter is looking forward to him. The decision of the court can cause even more damage because it might deprive the children of both of their parents. The Supreme Court raised a legal question whether murder of a mother of minors can constitute itself a breach of parental rights and responsibilities and shall every time lead to deprivation of those rights by court. The breach of parental rights and responsibilities can according to the court be considered: A threat to a children’s corporal or mental development, making possible for them to engage in criminal activities, leading immoral life… The deprivation of parental rights and responsibilities has to be in the interest of a child and seek its happiness. The petitioner also claims that the lower courts didn’t make a thorough interrogation of his daughter and that her statements weren’t considered. The Supreme Court contradicted this complaint by stating that if both, the trial court and the appellate court, considering the circumstances of the case, with regard to age and harmfulness to mental health of the interrogation, did not interrogate the children; it is not contrary to the principles of the Charter expressed in Article 24, which are reflected in s.100 (4) of the Code of Civil Procedure. The Supreme Court closed the case by agreement with the lower courts. The murder was an intense and grave violation of parental responsibilities, for it caused intense psychical harm to the children.
It is important to notice even approach of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to application and interpretation of Article 42 European Council’s regulation n.2201/2003, where in its decision of a case n C-491/10 PPU Aguirre Zarraga stated, that it is necessary to interpret the article in compliance with Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which demands in the first subsection for children to have the option to freely express their opinions and their opinions shall be seriously considered in matters where they are involved with regard to their age and maturity. In subsection 2 it is stated that during every activity regarding children it shall be considered the inherent interest of a child and this interest can be a reason for not exercising interrogation of the child. CJEU admits that during the circumstances which were in that case could have been an interrogation of a child, specifically if it is required for a child to appear before court, inappropriate and even harmful to its mental health. Although it is a right of every child to express and to be heard, an interrogation cannot be in every case compulsory, but has to be considered with respect to the inherent interest of every child as it is stated in article 24 (2) of the Charter. If both, the trial court and the appellate court, considering the circumstances of the case, with regard to age and harmfulness to mental health of the interrogation, did not interrogate the children; it is not contrary to the principles of the Charter expressed above, which are reflected in s.100 (4) of the Code of Civil Procedure.