May parents cane their children? Tlapak and Wetjen

In a word, “No”. [Warning: this post has a high “yuk” factor.]

The background

The applicants in Tlapak and Others v Germany [2018] ECHR 262 and Wetjen and Others v Germany [2018] ECHR 261 were several families belonging to the Twelve Tribes Church [Zwölf Stämme] living in two communities in Bavaria. They complained that their parental authority had been partially withdrawn and their children taken into care after press reports in 2012 that members of the Church punished their children by caning them. The reports were subsequently corroborated by video footage filmed in one of the communities with a hidden camera which showed various children between the ages of three and twelve being caned. Continue reading