EIT:n suuressa jaostossa suullinen kuulemistilaisuus ruotsalaisprofessorin asiassa
Euroopan ihmisoikeustuomion suuressa jaostossa on tänään järjestetty suullinen kuulemistilaisuus asiassa Gillberg v. Ruotsi. Valituksessa on kyse lapsi- ja nuorisopsykiatrian professori Christopher Gillbergin toiminnasta Göteborgin yliopistossa, kun hän vastoin hallinto-oikeuden määräystä kieltäytyi luovuttamasta tutkimusaineistoa muille tutkijoille.EIT:n lehdistötiedotteesta:
The applicant, Christopher Gillberg, is a Swedish national, who was born in 1950. He is a professor and Head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Gothenburg. For several years, he was responsible for a long-term research project on hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorders in children. Certain assurances were made to the children’s parents, and later to the young people themselves, concerning confidentiality. According to Mr Gillberg, the university’s ethics committee had made it a precondition for the project that sensitive information about the participants would be accessible only to him and his staff, and he had therefore promised absolute confidentiality to the patients and their parents. In 2002, requests by a sociological researcher and a paediatrician to be granted access to the research material were refused by the University of Gothenburg. Both researchers appealed against the decisions and, in February 2003, the Administrative Court of Appeal found that they should be granted access to the material, as they had shown a legitimate interest and could be assumed to be well acquainted with the handling of confidential data. The university was to specify the conditions for access in order to protect the interests of the individuals concerned. In August 2003, the Administrative Court of Appeal lifted some of the conditions imposed by the university and subsequently a new list of conditions was set for each of the two researchers, which included restrictions on the use of the material and prohibited the removal of copies from the university premises.
Notified by the university’s vice-chancellor that the two researchers were entitled to immediate access by virtue of the judgments, Mr Gillberg refused to hand over the material. Following discussions about the matter, the university decided in January and February 2004 to refuse access to the sociological researcher and to impose a new condition on the paediatrician, asking him to demonstrate that his duties required access to the research material in question. Those university decisions were annulled by two judgments of the Administrative Court of Appeal on 4 May 2004. A few days later, the research material was destroyed by colleagues of Mr Gillberg.
In January 2005, the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman brought criminal proceedings against Mr Gillberg, and in June he was convicted of misuse of office. He was given a suspended sentence and a fine of the equivalent of 4,000 euros. The university’s vicechancellor and the officials who had destroyed the research material were also convicted. Mr Gillberg’s conviction was upheld in February 2006 by the Court of Appeal. In April 2006, leave to appeal to the Supreme Court was refused.
Mr Gillberg complains in particular that his criminal conviction breached his rights under Articles 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and 10 (freedom of expression), because his promise of confidentiality to the participants in the research was allegedly imposed on him by the university’s ethics committee, as a precondition for carrying out his research.
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