European Court of Human Rights - case of Z and Others v. the United Kingdom (2001) (excerpts)

European Court of Human Rights - case of Z and Others v. the United Kingdom (2001) (excerpts)

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93. The right is not absolute, however. It may be subject to legitimate restrictions such as statutory limitation periods, security for costs orders, regulations concerning minors and persons of unsound mind (see Stubbings and Others v. the United Kingdom, judgment of 22 October 1996, Reports 1996-IV, pp. 1502-03, §§ 51-52; Tolstoy Miloslavsky v. the United Kingdom, judgment of 13 July 1995, Series A no. 316-B, pp. 80-81,
§§ 62-67; and Golder, cited above, p. 19, § 39). Where the individual's access is limited either by operation of law or in fact, the Court will examine whether the limitation imposed impaired the essence of the right and, in particular, whether it pursued a legitimate aim and there was a reasonable relationship of proportionality between the means employed and the aim sought to be achieved (see Ashingdane v. the United Kingdom, judgment of 28 May 1985, Series A no. 93, pp. 24-25, § 57). If the restriction is compatible with these principles, no violation of Article 6 will arise.