Malta’s highest court has dismissed a woman’s claim that a DNA test to establish the identity of her daughter’s biological father would breach her and the minor’s human right to the enjoyment of family life.

The woman argued that a DNA test would reveal personal facts that would not allow them to continue living their life the way they did.

Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti and judges Giannino Caruana Demajo and Anthony Ellul, sitting in the Constitutional Court, ruled that the only fact the test would reveal was the percentage of probability that the person who filed the court case was the girl’s biological father.

They noted that the mother had already acknowledged that the man was the minor’s father in her reply to an official letter that the man had sent her.

The DNA test would not harm the child’s privacy but “it was be­ne­ficial to her because every child had the right to know who her father really is”, the court said.

The complex story began at the child’s birth 10 years ago when she was registered as the biological daughter of the man to whom the mother was married at the time.

However, a year later it emerged that he was not the child’s father and he obtained a court order to get his name deleted from the child’s birth certificate.

The request was upheld, and the girl was registered as having an unknown father.

Another man claiming to be the child’s biological father then filed court proceedings to have the child registered as his daughter.

As part of the proceedings, the court was about to appoint a DNA expert to carry out the necessary tests to establish paternity.

But the woman objected. She claimed that the lawyer appointed to represent the daughter’s interests had not objected to the appointment of the expert so he was not faithfully representing her.

She filed a human rights case before the constitutional court in which she claimed that the DNA test would breach her fundamental right of respect for her private and family life, as well as her daughter’s right to a fair hearing.

The State Attorney and the man claiming to be the biological father rebutted the claims, insisting that there were none of the breaches being alleged, especially since the court had appointed a lawyer to represent the daughter’s interests. The fact that the mother was not in agreement with the stance taken by this lawyer did not mean that her daughter’s rights to a fair hearing were not being respected or that the lawyer was giving wrong legal advice.

The court dismissed the woman’s claims, ruling that the case she had filed was frivolous.

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