Key facts of the case:
Case involving a conflict between a separated mother and father about parental access to their only child. Father and mother had a relationship from 2004 to 2008. They had one child: a son. Nine weeks after the birth of the son the relationship between mother and father ended. Since then the father has no contact with his child. The mother refused to cooperate on an arrangement granting the father access to the child. The sole reason that she refused to cooperate is that she has objections to the child and the father seeing each other. The father requested the District Court Haarlem on 15 September 2014 to establish an arrangement concerning parental access. The District Court declined the request. The Court of Appeal of Amsterdam also declined the request by the father. On 17 January 2014 the Supreme Court annulled the judgment by the court of appeal of Amsterdam and referred the case back to the Court of Appeal of the Hague. The main assumption in this judgement is that the child and the parents who has no parental authority have a right to see each other. The Supreme Court considers that in a case when the parent with parental autority refuses to cooperate on an arrangement concerning parental access, the court has to consider all options to induce the parent with parental authority to cooperate on an arrangement. The sole reason that the parent with parental authority has objection to an arrangement concerning parental access is an insufficient reason to deny the right of the child and the other parent to meet each other.
The starting point in judging the complaints against this decision is that the child and the parent who has no parental authority (in this case the father) have a right of access to each other. This right is guarenteed, as regards the parent without parental authority, by article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and article 1:377, clause 1 of the Dutch Civil Code, and as regards the child, not only by the last mentioned article, but also by article 9, clause 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and article 24, clause 3 of Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The judge can only deny the parent with no parental authority access to the child on the ground that are exhaustively enumerated in article 1;377a, clause of the Dutch civil code".
Uitgangspunt bij de beoordeling van de tegen deze beslissing gerichte klachten is dat het kind en de niet met het gezag belaste ouder (in deze zaak: de vader) recht hebben op omgang met elkaar. Dit recht wordt, wat de niet met het gezag belaste ouder betreft, gewaarborgd door de art. 8 EVRM en 1:377a lid 1 BW, en wat het kind aangaat niet alleen door die laatstgenoemde bepaling, maar ook door de art. 9 lid 3 IVRK en 24 lid 3 Handvest van de grondrechten van de EU. De rechter kan de niet met het gezag belaste ouder het recht op omgang met het kind uitsluitend ontzeggen op de in art. 1:377a lid 3 BW limitatief opgesomde gronden.