Family Law Hub

BS (a Child) (Child abduction) [2021] EWHC 2643 (Fam)

The father applied under the Child Abduction Custody Act 1985 for the summary return of the daughter to Italy pursuant to the 1980 Hague Convention. The mother had removed her to England in February 2021. The mother accepted that the child's views on return were ambivalent. Her defence thus focused on the issues of consent/acquiescence under Article 13(a) and grave risk/intolerability under Article 13(b). She claimed that moving to England had been the father's suggestion, to lessen the child's exposure to racist abuse. The father said that he had not agreed to a relocation in the months and days leading up to the trip to England in July 2020, and that even if he had it did not subsist many months later. Mr Teertha Gupta QC queried why the mother had left in a clandestine fashion, if the father had consented to the move. For that and several other reasons he came to the firm conclusion that the consent defence had simply not been made out. Similarly, the defence under Article 13(b) had not been made out. He found it highly unlikely that the mother would be separated from the daughter if she chose to go with her. Thus he ordered the summary return of the child to Italy.


Published: 25/10/2021

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