Mrs Airey sought judicial separation from her physically abusive husband. As she was unable to conclude a separation agreement with her husband, she sought a judicially ordered separation. She was unable to obtain such an order since she lacked the financial means, in the absence of legal aid, to retain a solicitor. The European Court of Human Rights held this was a violation of her right to access a court for determination of her civil rights and obligations (Article 6). Citing international law and the Convention's intention they said that remedies must be effective not illusory.