Family Law Hub

AX v CY (Article 12; Settlement) [2020] EWHC 1599 (Fam)

An application under the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985 and the Hague Convention 1980 for the eight-year-old daughter to be returned to Spain. The mother had brought the child to the United Kingdom without warning, and had refused to disclose their location. She asserted that there had been a history of domestic abuse. It was common ground that the removal was in breach of the father's rights of custody, and that the removal was from the child's country of habitual residence. The mother raised four defences: settlement under Article 12; grave risk of harm under Article 13(b); the child’s objections to return under Article 13; and breach of the daughter's human rights under Article 20. Mr Robert Peel QC was not convinced that the evidence demonstrated the physical stability, integration and permanence needed to establish the defence of settlement. The mother fell far short of establishing that there was a risk of harm to the child. The defence regarding the child's objections was abandoned by the end of the hearing, but would have also failed, as did the defence under Article 20. An order for the daughter's return would be made.

Judgment, published: 19/06/2020

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Published: 19/06/2020

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