Site Joep Zander

Invitation to attend the court hearings

Joep Zander versus State of the Netherlands

Dutch courts attack Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights by actively denying a child the right to contact with her father over eight years


Date: 24 October 2000
Time: Arrive between 0900 and 0915 for 9.30am start
Place: European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France
Case: Joep Zander v. the Netherlands, Application Number: 32040/96


The proceedings are public. They focus on:
Refusal of the Dutch Government to maintain rights of contact to Joep Zander's daughter
Violation of Joep Zander's rights of contact with his daughter by the Dutch Government

Brief case history: The Dutch Supreme Court decided that although Mr Zander had a good relationship with his daughter Rosa, she could not visit him because this would amount to applying force to his daughter.

In Joep Zander's words:

"It is in the nature of a good human relationship that it needs nothing extra to exist, certainly it needs no enforcement. Whenever the relation hasn't been lived then one can conclude that there must have been external circumstances ..."

The Dutch judicial system is bound by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which makes it clear that the State has the duty not merely not to disturb parent-child relationships but to actively protect them, it is clear that in this case it has done precisely the opposite.

In answering Mr Zander's application, the Dutch Government have suddenly attempted to reanimate old false allegations from the mother of the father using violence against her ( the opposite is true). The Dutch State has added to its problems by attempting to undermine Mr Zander's case with statements such as: "[Mr Zander] gives the impression that he knows exactly what is good for Rosa. In themselves, his ideas seem agreeable and child-oriented, including such ideas as singing songs and bicycling through town on a delivery bike with her. However, the above seems more to fit his personal need to be seen as a progressive father, than to be part of a responsible attitude to Rosa's upbringing."

Leading members of parents' groups and legal professionals from around Europe will attend the hearing and meet afterwards for an informal press conference and planning session.

Some of the groups/individuals attending the hearing
(with direct/group email and website details):
Joep Zander (Holland - the Litigant)
Anson Allen (Chairman, UK Equal Parenting Party)
Bertrand Giraud (President, E2SD, France)
Denis Paolini (SOS Child Abduction to Germany)
Dominique Baylion (SOS Papa, France Est)
Johannes Dimitroudis (Law Spokesman, German Parents' Federation)
Ghislain Duchâteau (BGMK, Belgium)
René Keller (President, VeV Canton Argovie, Switzerland)
Truus Barendse (Chairwoman, Dutch Parents' Platform)
Violaine Delahais (PARENT, France/USA)

Background notes for Editors
Joep Zander is known as an active fathers' rights campaigner at national and international level. In 1995 he observed a 12-day hunger strike in front of the courthouse in Deventer, his home town. He helped launch Dwaze Vaders (Mad Dads) the leading Dutch Parents' Group, and is one of the founding fathers of the 1999 Declaration of Langeac, an international declaration of basic family rights.

He is now leading negotiations with a view to developing a fair family court system, between the Dutch fathers' movement, the Government and the Child Protection Service. for English information on the case European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) website [Pending Cases] for ECHR presentation of Joep's case for the hearing of 24th Oct 00

For further information on the case:
Joep Zander (Holland)
T: 0031 570 621784
M: 0031 6 1033 1513

For further information on attending the hearing:
Julian Fitzgerald (UK)
T: 0044 113 229 8949
M: 0044 7760 242 682

Dominique Baylion (France)
T: 0033 3 88 56 39 99
M: 0033 6 60 09 39 99

Gerhard Hanenkamp (Germany)
T: 00 49 4965 914 914

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