CourtThird Section (European Court of Human Rights)
Judgment Date08 November 2022
CounselGAÁL M.
Date08 November 2022
Application Number57906/18
Respondent StateEspaña
Applied Rules8;8-1;41



(Application no. 57906/18)


Art 8 • Positive obligations • Family life • Excessive length of recognition and enforcement proceedings in respect of return order of the applicant’s child to Hungary under Brussels IIa Regulation • Serious consequences for the relationship between the applicant, with no custody at the time, and his child and for custody proceedings


8 November 2022

This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Veres v. Spain,

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:

Georges Ravarani, President,

Georgios A. Serghides,

María Elósegui,

Darian Pavli,

Anja Seibert-Fohr,

Peeter Roosma,

Frédéric Krenc, judges,
and Olga Chernishova, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to:

the application (no. 57906/18) against the Kingdom of Spain lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Hungarian national, Mr Márton Veres (“the applicant”), on 4 December 2018;

the decision to give notice to the Spanish Government (“the Government”) of the complaints concerning Article 6 § 1, Article 8 and Article 13 of the Convention and to declare the remainder of the application inadmissible;

the decision of the Hungarian Government not to avail themselves of their right to intervene in the proceedings (Article 36 § 1 of the Convention);

the parties’ observations;

Having deliberated in private on 4 October 2022,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:


1. The present case mainly concerns an alleged violation of the applicant’s right to respect for his family life under Article 8 of the Convention as a result of the excessive length of the recognition and enforcement proceedings in Spain in respect of a Hungarian court decision ordering the applicant’s ex-wife to return back to Hungary their daughter, with whom she had moved to Spain.


2. The applicant was born in 1967 and lives in Pomáz (Hungary). He was represented before the Court by Mr M. Gaál, a lawyer practising in Budapest.

3. The Government were represented by their Agent, Ms H.E. Nicolás Martínez, State Attorney (abogado del Estado).

4. The facts of the case may be summarised as follows.


5. In 2005 the applicant formed a relationship with Ms K.P. They lived in Budapest, Hungary. On 4 September 2006 K.P. gave birth to their daughter, Z.

6. In May 2010, as the applicant and K.P. were ending their relationship, they signed an agreement to regulate custody over Z. They agreed that the mother would hold sole custody, that the applicant would have visiting rights and that the applicant would make monthly alimony payments in respect of the child. However, the agreement did not come into effect because the applicant and K.P. agreed that it would only become applicable when they stopped living together, whereas they continued to do so.

7. In January 2015, after their relationship had deteriorated, K.P. moved to her parents’ home with Z. She applied to the Buda Central District Court (Budai Kôzponti Kerületi Birôsâg) for custody over Z.

8. In July 2015, while custody proceedings were pending in Hungary, K.P. moved with Z. to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, without informing the applicant. The applicant requested that interim measures be adopted.

9. By a decision of 11 April 2016, the Budapest Metropolitan Court (Fővárosi Törvényszék) adopted three interim measures, to be applied until the final judgment was given in the custody proceedings: the establishment of Z.’s residence in her mother’s home in Hungary; the obligation for K.P. to bring the child back to Hungary within eight days; and the obligation for K.P. to prove the registration of Z. in school in Hungary within the same period.

  1. Criminal proceedings in spain against the applicant

10. After her arrival in Spain, K.P. reported the applicant to the Spanish authorities for domestic violence and making threats against her.

11. On 11 August 2015 the Palma de Mallorca Violence against Women Court no. 2 (“the Violence against Women Court”) heard K.P.’s evidence concerning the reported allegations.

12. On 11 January 2016 the Violence against Women Court issued a restraining order against the applicant, prohibiting him from approaching K.P. within a distance of 500 metres and from contacting her by any means.

13. On 11 January 2017 the Violence against Women Court lifted the restraining order and struck out the case on account of a lack of supporting evidence in respect of K.P.’s allegations against the applicant.

  1. recognition and enforcement proceedings in spain

14. On 1 July...

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