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 Post subject: The Strand Lobben case against Norway in Strasbourg
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:06 am 
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Judgment in case against Norway coming up in the Strasbourg Court

On The European Court of Human Rights' website, it says in the file of Forthcoming Jugments and decisions 28-30.11.17 that the following case is due on 30 November 2017:

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Strand Lobben and Others v. Norway (no. 37283/13)

The case concerns the removal of a mother’s parental authority and the adoption of her eldest son.

The applicants are T. Strand Lobben, born in 1986, her children X and Y, and her parents, S. Graff Lobben and L. Lobben. They are Norwegian.

T. Strand Lobben’s first son was born in September 2008. Having experienced difficulties when she was pregnant, she had turned to the child welfare authorities for guidance and accepted to stay at a family centre for evaluation during the first months after the child was born. However, a month after the birth she decided to leave the centre. The authorities decided to take the baby into immediate compulsory care and place him in a foster home on an emergency basis as the centre’s staff had concerns about whether the baby had been receiving enough food to survive. The baby remained in foster care for the next three years until the social welfare authorities authorised the foster parents to adopt him in December 2011.

As concerned the foster care, the domestic authorities decided that it would not be in the baby’s best interests to discontinue public care given his special care needs and the fundamental limitations in the mother’s parenting skills.

As concerned the subsequent decision to remove the mother’s parental authority and to authorise the adoption, the case was first decided in 2011 by the County Social Welfare board, comprised of a jurist, a psychologist and a layperson who heard 21 witnesses over three days. The mother was present and represented by counsel. The Board concluded that adoption would be in the baby’s best interest.

The mother appealed this decision before the courts in 2012. She was again present and represented during three days of witnesses being heard by a professional judge, psychologist and lay person. However, while the courts found that her situation had improved in some areas – she had married and had another child in 2011 – she had not shown improvement in empathising with or understanding her son who was psychologically vulnerable and, as found in a psychiatric report, was in need of a lot of quiet, security and support. The courts notably took account of the contact sessions over three years during which the child had not bonded psychologically with his biological mother and had even been “inconsolable” afterwards, and the security that his fosters parents, whom he regarded as his parents, could provide in the years ahead.

Relying on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), the applicants complain about the domestic authorities’ decision to let the foster parents adopt X. They allege in particular that severing family ties should only be ordered in exceptional circumstances, such as a particularly unfit family, and that it was not enough to show that a child would have a more beneficial environment if brought up elsewhere.

*****


The Norwegian state's arguments about bonding and vulnerability are among the psychobabble terms most in use at the moment. The boy being "iconsolable" after meeting with his mother and this being "interpreted" as a sign that he has not bonded with her, is not understandable at all – inconsolable about what? The confusing content may be due to an inadequate formulation from the Court but may at least equally well be the kind of nonsense the CPS practices.

  

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 Post subject: Re: Judgment in case against Norway coming in Strasbourg
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:24 am 
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The state won. That was only to be expected, actually. There was a dissent, though: four judges for the state, three dissenting.

The Norwegian judge in Strasbourg, Erik Møse, was of course on the winning side, in favour of the state – all formal procedures have been followed, everything is correct! What a revealing example of Norwegian justice: all form and no humane content. No understanding of the actually scientific, solid facts of family feelings and their importance either, just this ridiculous belief in our misguided "child experts" and the "excellence" of our judicial system.

And three other judges in Strasbourg buy this nonsense: Nussberger (Germany), Potocki (France), Kucsko-Stadlmayer (Austria).

*

A possible, good thing about the opinions expressed by the winning majority here: Foreigners who see some atrocious CPS cases in Norway, e.g affecting their own citizens living in Norway, tend to think that Norway can't really mean its child protection services to carry on in this way, and that they only have to explain to Norwegian authorities and then Norwegian authorities will put it right. They are very surprised that Norway's answer is to lecture them about "the Norwegian system". In a sense, the expectation of these delegations and others from abroad is just as ignorant and naïve as the way Norway always is surprised that the foreigners "do not understand", that they themselves "do not get through to the foreigners' understanding" with the official information about "how advanced and good Norwegian CPS is".
    All these foreigners should read the present Strasbourg judgment. Perhaps that will give them a start at understanding how badly placed Norwegian children and their whole families are, under the in many ways superficial, pleasant living here.

*

The dissension of three judges should be studied. They are Grozev (Bulgaria), O'Leary (Ireland), and Hüseynov (Azerbaijan). There, at least, one gets some sense of the actual content of human rights being important.

Case of Strand Lobben and others v. Norway
Hudoc, 30 November 2017


*

A first reaction in the Norwegian press (more sensible than could be expected from Dagbladet):

Norsk dom i Den europeiske menneskerettsdomstol (EMD):
Tvangsadopsjon fratok familien all kontakt med gutten. Nå er Norge frikjent i EMD
Mor og besteforeldre tapte barnevernssak i Strasbourg.
( Norwegian judgment at The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR):
Forced adoption took all contact with the boy away from the family. Now Norway has been exonerated in the ECtHR
Mother and grandparents lost child protection case in Strasbourg )
Dagbladet, 30 November 2017

  

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 Post subject: Re: Judgment in case against Norway coming in Strasbourg
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:55 pm 
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A Norwegian professor of political science Marit Skivenes and her co-worker Amy McEwan-Strand have written an article commenting the Strasbourg-verdict in the Strand and Lobben v. Norway - case.

A Child-Centred Court of Human Rights? Strand Lobben v. Norway (30. Nov. 2017)
https://strasbourgobservers.com/2018/01 ... -nov-2017/


I would like to comment on some of the statements in the article.

"The Norwegian word for child protection, “barnevern” is now a term associated with draconian interventions into the family sphere in certain European circuits.

The paradox is that Norway is considered to have a good child protection system when compared to other States’ systems,[1] and Norway is ranked second both on the KidsRight Index[2] and on the UNICEF´s child well-being index in rich countries (2013).[3]"


No, the paradox is rather that a country with very high scores of child well-being still has a need of very high interventions by the CPS. Public statistics also expose the disturbing fact that children in public care do not at all contribute to the high well-being scores.

"During their stay at the care unit, the mother needed to be consistently reminded to feed the baby; she showed a lack of understanding of her son’s needs and empathy towards him; and was deemed herself to be vulnerable and in need of care."

This statement is presented as a fact, without any criticism. The headline itself is "Facts". However, it must be recognized that these are statements made by mother-child homes which can be regarded as an extended branch of the CPS itself. Parents who attend these homes are surveilled 24/7, they are under immense pressure as they know the risk of a negative outcome is extremely high. Many parents are there against their own will, but forced by a direct threat from the CPS to remove their child, or as a decision made by the County Board. Voices have raised strong concerns about the ethics - or lack of such - surrounding these homes.

A simple analysis of the statement quoted here will conclude that these are subjective views, and not hard-hitting facts, of a mother's capabilities as a mother under extreme stress. There is actually nothing in this statement determining the mother`s abilities as a parent. But there is plenty revealing how the observing staff regard her as a mother. Those are two very different things, but regrettably the personal views of staff or CPS workers are usually taken as facts by courts and county boards.

"The reasoning of the Court seems markedly child-centric, placing the child’s best interest before any other interests in the case. "

This statement takes for granted that children and parents have different and opposing interests. Western culture and understanding of the human identity places the child in its own entity. The child is seen as an individual isolated from the family. In contrast, other cultures look at the family as the entity. In parts of Africa, "ubuntu" is the characteristic of humanity. The being of a person is in the fellowship. The family is the core of this togetherness, with its own autonomy.

This statement also leaves out the fact that there are many third parties of interest in CPS cases. Child welfare has indeed grown into a big industry, and commercial interests are deeply involved, from big investors to the individual foster units. Many factors are pushing the process in a definite direction, and the forces involved are surely not only concerned around the child`s welfare. The notion that the child`s interest is the only aspect in these cases is fiction indeed. Regrettably, the systems created to protect children have dynamics that often go against keeping or helping the family.

"When states take a strong responsibility for children´s rights, there will be potential for stronger conflicts and more tensions around the child protection system. We believe this explanation sheds light on the apparent legitimacy problems of the child protection systems in Norway and other countries – and the criticism they are currently under."

The authors are university professionals. Nevertheless, they reveal their stand on the norwegian CPS fairly openly. There is a strong - almost good versus evil - moral judgement in this, and an implied claim that the great controversy around the actions of the CPS has to do with the government taking more responsibility of childrens`rights. They see tensions and conflicts around the CPS in Norway solely as a result of a stronger emphasis on childrens rights,- and seem to view adoption as a good alternative to what was supposed to be temporary foster-care.

But the child also has a right to it's family.

As already mentioned, this article does not touch into the fact that the results of CPS-interventions are disastrous. Nor does it discuss the fact that the forced adoption-policy with early intervention - often based on fragile predictions of the future - can also be seen as a desperate attempt to produce results in a booming industry where the only positive markers so far are in the budgets of the profit-makers.


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 Post subject: Re: Judgment in case against Norway coming in Strasbourg
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:05 am 
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The Lobben case has been admitted to Grand Chamber at the European Court of Human Rights


Norsk barnevernssak skal opp til ny behandling i Strasbourg (Norwegian child protection case will be admitted to new treatment in Strasbourg)
Nettavisen (NTB), 10 April 2018

Norsk barnevernsak fikk anke til EMDs storkammer (Appeal to the ECtHR's Grand Chamber was allowed in a Norwegian child protection case)
I høst ble Norge frifunnet i EMD, men nå er en anke over dommen sluppet inn til EMDs egen ankeinstans – storkammeret. Dermed blir det full ny behandling.
(Last autumn Norway was found not guilty in the ECtHR, but now an appeal of the judgment has been admitted to the CDtHR's own appeal court – the Grand Chamber. Therefore, there will be a full new treatment of the case.)
Rett24, 11 April 2018

Probably one reason why the appeal is taken up is that the vote in the (primary) court in Strasbourg was 4 – 3, in other words a sizeable minority against the Norwegian state: Azerbaijan, Bulagaria and Ireland.

This is obviously the Lobben case. Norwegian journalists and editors continue their suppression of the names of the victims. They ought to be spanked! – Oh no, I forgot that spanking of children is strictly forbidden in Norway, and these obedient state defenders are in reality irresponsible children.
    It is in the best interest of NO child that it is kept hidden that the Norwegian state has oppressed, harassed, often tortured the child's parents, while the parents fight on for them to be reunited!
    The name of the mother in this case is Trude Lobben, and she has nothing to be ashamed of, on the contrary!

Hee is a fine video which agrippa has linked to in another thread. Rune Fardal interviews Marius Reikerås and Trude Lobben, when the decision about taking the case up in Grand Chamber had "ticked in":

"Intervju med Trude Lobben og menneskerettsjurist Marius Reikerås rett etter at de mottok den gledelige meldingen fra Strasbourg."

Reikerås says in the interview that there is only about a 3% chance of getting a case admitted to the ECtHR at all. Getting it admitted to the Grand Chamber after a first verdict only happens in about 1 per cent of those cases (usually a state which has lost the case in the first instance, will appeal to the Grand Chamber), and as far as he knows, nobody at all except Trude Lobben, having lost against the state in the first instance, has succeeded in having their appeal accepted for a new trial in the Grand Chamber.

    

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 Post subject: Re: Judgment in case against Norway coming in Strasbourg
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:27 pm 
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The forced adoption case of Strand Lobben and Others v. Norway comes up before the Grand Chamber of the Court of Human Rights
on 17 October 2018


Cases pending before the Grand Chamber
European Court of Human Rights

  

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