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Supreme Court of Denmark

No infringement of the European Human Rights Convention 

Case no. 111/2017

Judgment delivered on 21 March 2018

The Municipality of Esbjerg

The Municipality was not liable to two girls who had been victims of sexual offences

The case mainly concerned whether local authorities had infringed the European Human Rights Convention by not having taken action in a timely manner against an offender who committed sexual abuse of his children’s friends, and against his family.

The Supreme Court found that it is a condition for holding an authority liable that it knew or should have known that there was a risk that other children would be exposed to assault or abuse.

On an overall assessment of the available reports and other information, the Supreme Court found that no facts had been revealed that should have given the Municipality of Esbjerg reasonable grounds for suspecting that there was a foreseeable risk that the offender would abuse other children. Consequently, the Human Rights Convention had not been infringed.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.

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