Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Dublin: 14°C Thursday 18 August 2022

Paedophile told by court that castration was not a punishment

European Court of Human Rights says it was part of the protective measures ordered by a Czech court.

Image: ECtHR via Shutterstock

AN ORDER BY a Czech court for a man to undergo sexological treatment did not amount to inhuman or degrading treatment, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled.

Karel Dvořáček had been diagnosed with Wilson’s disease, a genetic disorder that causes a build-up of copper in the body.

The result was neurological and psychological issues. At the time of his diagnosis, Dvořáček was experiencing speech and motor problems, and ‘was afflicted with hebephilia, a form of paedophilia’, the court’s ruling statement said.

He was also confined to psychiatric hospital on a number of occasions.


He had received several convictions for sexual offences, with a court eventually ruling that he was to undergo protective treatment, with the possibilities ranging from psychotherapy to castration.

Dvořáček took a case to the ECtHR, arguing this ruling breached of Article 3 of the Convention on Human Rights.


However, the ECtHR said that this amounted to protective measure, and not a punishment.

His case also involves a chemical castration using antiandrogen drugs, which reduces testosterone levels. His accepted this treatment faced with the prospect of a lengthy stay in hospital to undergo psychotherapy and sociotherapy.

‘Impeded sex life’

He later complained that this treatment had ‘impeded sex life with his girlfriend’, and that he was not offered sufficient help to deal with the physiological strain of the procedure and time in hospital, claimed some doctors attempted to pressure him into getting surgical castration.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

The ECtHR ruled that the hospital had warned him of the effects, and that his treatment had been tailored to suit any issues raised. Dvořáček later opted for the psychotherapy instead.

“The Court considered in this regard that although most of the restrictions complained of by Mr Dvořáček had no doubt caused him discomfort, they had been justified by his state of health and his conduct,” the ruling read.

“This prevented the Court from finding that he had suffered an exceptional ordeal tantamount to treatment contrary to Article 3.”

The court also accepted that authorities had properly investigated claims of ill-treatment at the hospital.

First published 6.45am

Read: Taoiseach (and two Ministers) will meet with Louise O’Keeffe in ‘the coming weeks’ >

More: Journalist wins case against Iceland over report on addiction centre sex abuse >

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

Read next: