• 'Italy failed to enforce a father's visitation rights'

'Italy failed to enforce a father's visitation rights'

Tribunals lax, authorities inert says Human Rights Court

(ANSA) - Strasbourg, December 17 - For the second time this year the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg found Italy guilty of unjustly penalizing a father in a child custody battle. "Italy failed to enforce a father's visitation rights, thereby violating his rights to family life as per Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights," the court wrote in its ruling. The case at hand was that of Nicolò Santilli, who has not been able to spend time with his now 12-year-old son since February 15, 2006 as the boy's mother refuses to allow him court-ordered access to his son. Santilli has filed numerous complaints in family court in Italy over the years, but no ruling was ever enough to guarantee him visitation rights. This is because the court was lax in making sure social services did their jobs, and authorities failed to enforce the rulings in his favor, Santilli said. The Strasbourg court on January 29 found in favor of another Italian father, Sergio Lombardo, in a similar case.