Article 24 - The rights of the child
The case was brought by a pair of grandparents residing in Italy, who had good relations with their grandchild prior to them relocating to Malta, but following the children’s move to Malta in 2017, they had not been allowed to visit the grandchild despite attempts to communicate. One of the grandparents visited Malta in 2018, on the understanding that he would be able to visit his minor granddaughter, but this visit did not take place. The applicants stated that they appreciate that the parents of the child are responsible for the care and custody of the child but the relationship between the child and the grandchildren is affectionate and loving, and they should be allowed visitation rights. The applicants requested that the court a) Declare that it is in the best interests of the Minor Granddaughter HG to allow the applicants visitation rights; b) Give visitation rights to the applicants with the Minor Granddaughter by establishing such days, time and such directives as
are deemed by the court to be required and which would allow the relationship of the grandparents with the Minor Granddaughter to continue to develop; c) Give such other adequate directive.
The parental authority remains vested within the parents of the minor child and essentially granting visitation rights to grandparents can never be construed as a limitation of parental authority. Ultimately, it is always the best interests of the child that are to prevail. As Plaintiff submitted, Article 3(1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Article 24(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, ensures that at all times, even when the child’s best interests are in conflict with the parents’ needs, the child’s interests are to prevail, both in short and long term. These are the determining factors that can lead this Honourable Court to reach a decision. Thus said, the plea raised by Defendants on parental authority is too to be rejected.