Family Law Hub

A (Child Abduction: Article 13b) [2021] EWCA Civ 328

An appeal from an order for the summary return of a three-year-old child to the USA. The mother was British and alleged an abusive relationship. The father was American and denied the allegations. The mother asserted that, after having found that her allegations were of a nature to engage Art 13(b) of the 1980 Hague Convention, the judge had been wrong to grant the father's application. She also issued an application asking the court to admit further evidence. Peter Jackson LJ found that the situation portrayed in letters from the mother's GP was markedly more severe than that previously described to the extent of being capable of influencing the outcome, and he would therefore admit the evidence. The judge had directed himself meticulously and he had methodically reviewed all the evidence that was before him. However, the appeal had to be determined in the light of the further evidence concerning the mother's mental health and family support, which showed an escalation in self-harming behaviour to the point where she could not currently live alone with the child in England, let alone elsewhere. Haddon-Cave and Elisabeth Laing LJJ agreed. The return order was set aside and the father's summons under the Convention was remitted for rehearing by the judge on an expedited basis.

Published: 19/03/2021


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