The European Court of Human Rights will be delivering a Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Paradiso and Campanelli v. Italy (application no. 25358/12) at a public hearing on 24 January 2017.
The Chamber decision, whose cancellation and referral to the Grand Chamber was granted following a request by the Italian government, is arguably one of the most glaringly perverse decisions ever delivered by the Court, in whose history there certainly is no shortage of bizarre activist decisions with no basis in the law. It is widely expected that the Grand Chamber will decide that the withdrawal from the custody of the applicants, an Italian couple, of a child that was fabricated in a Muscovite “fertility clinic” at their behest, but which is not biologically related to either of them, did not constitute a violation of the applicants’ or the child’s right to respect for family life under Article 8 of the Convention.
In finding a violation, the Court’s 2nd Section had effectively “legalized” the business model of the Russian “fertility clinic”, which consisted in selling to the applicants for a price of 45.000 Euro, a child that was not theirs. In other words, the European Court of Human Rights seemed to authorize child trafficking. Even more astonishingly, the director of the fertility clinic, a man named Konstantin Svitnev, was allowed to represent the two applicants as their legal counsil, as if he were a respectable lawyer and not a heinous trader of human flesh.
It is expected that the Grand Chamber will finally dismiss the applicants’ frivolous claim that their human rights have been violated. But it will probably fail to deliver what is needed: a clear statement to the effect that the applicants and their legal counsel have themselves committed an abominable crime that deserves not the support or complacecy of the law courts, but severe punishment.