Religious differences and child custody: TC v Italy


In TC v Italy [2022] ECHR 379, the applicant had been in a relationship with SG and they had had a daughter, E, in 2006, but they broke up in 2008. TC started attending meetings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, was baptised in 2011 and took E with him to services two or three times a month. In 2012 he married another Jehovah’s Witness, EB, with whom he had another child [5-8].

SG and TC disagreed about E’s custody and visiting arrangements. SG argued that, without her agreement, TC was taking E to Jehovah’s Witness services, had prevented her from attending ballet classes and took her along to distribute religious magazines in the street [9]. 12. In May 2014, TC agreed that E could take part in ballet and in July 2014 that she could make her first Roman Catholic communion – but requested that she also be allowed to attend the Kingdom Hall [12 & 13]. SG asked the Livorno District Court to rule out attendance at the Kingdom Hall and in 2015 the Court so ordered [14-16]. TC’s subsequent appeals were dismissed [17-19].

The arguments

Before the ECtHR, TC alleged a violation of Articles 6, 8 and 9 ECHR, alone and in conjunction with Article 14, Continue reading