Family Law Hub

Child Abduction

Latest updates

  • The judge ruled that all proceedings concerning the children, who had been living with the mother's husband in Alaska for 3 years (the mother being in custody in the UK facing charges of child abduction), should come to an end as the children were habitually resident in Alaska. Judgment, 30/07/2018, free
  • In brief: A further judgment in these long-running committal proceedings where the mother (“M”) is seeking the children’s return from Nigeria. The High Court held that evidence obtained by mistakenly breaching an order was admissible in committal proceedings. The need for practice guidance on serving documents on litigants in person in prison was highlighted. In the meantime, if you are faced with serving documents on a prisoner, consider booking a legal visit. Judgment, 11/06/2018, free
  • The specific issues in this case were whether the court has the power to make a return order summarily at the outset of proceedings in England and, if it has, whether it should do so or should wait before exercising its substantive jurisdiction under BIIa until the determination of proceedings under the 1980 Convention in the other Member State. Judgment, 29/05/2018, free
  • Mother's appeal against an order which ordered that the children be returned to Canada was dismissed. Judgment, 29/05/2018, free
  • In brief: This case began as a private law dispute where the mother (“M”) was very concerned that the father (“F”) would abduct the child. Subsequently (and it is not clear what led to this), the local authority (“LA”) obtained an interim care order and removed the child. The judgment concerns a number of applications (brought by M) for declarations pursuant to the Human Rights Act 1998 that ss 2, 8, 38, 50, and 97 CA 1989 and the whole of the Child Abduction Act 1984 were incompatible with the ECHR. The fundamental point M made was that the statute was not strong or effective enough. Surprisingly, the High Court did not take the opportunity offered to them of overturning huge chunks of statute. Judgment, 26/04/2018, free

Latest know-how

  • Fresh guidance issued by The President, 13 March 2018, covering procedure, case management and mediation in international child abduction cases Practice note, 13/03/2018, free
  • Help published on the application process Practice note, 01/11/2017, free
  • Mr Justice Mostyn on whether he has the power to revoke a return order in proceedings under the Child Abduction & Custody Act. Case note, 08/07/2014, members only
  • Judgment by the President in child abduction case raising 2 points of general importance: 1) what powers the court has to compel third parties to secure return of an abducted child where they do not have parental responsibility or control over the child and; 2) the role, powers and proper basis for making orders concerning non-subject children in such proceedings Case note, 08/07/2014, members only
  • Judgment concerning return of a child to the US where the mother had successfully obtained a ruling in Texas that the child had been wrongfully retained in the US, the father had complied with that order and then had appeals turned down by the High Court and Court of Appeal. Father's appeal allowed. Case note, 18/02/2014, free

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