On the 27th of February 2023, the ECtHR published its communicated cases nos. 46748/21 and 46958/21. The case concerns a divorced Ukrainian woman, a victim of domestic violence, and her child. She moved to Poland following a Ukrainian court decision granting her permission to leave with the child and without the permission of the father. After that, the Ukrainian Court invalidated this decision and ordered a re-examination. Based on the Hague Convention, the father requested the return of his child to a Polish court which was first refused but then granted following an appeal but not enforced.
The ECtHR first questions whether considering the current situation in the Donbas region the child would face a risk of being subject to a treatment contrary to Articles 2, 3 and 8 ECHR upon return. It then asks whether the appeal decision violated the mother’s, father’s, and/or son’s right to family life. Afterwards, the Court questioned whether there has been hinderance by Poland of the father’s exercise of the right to application.