Family Law Hub

Re A (A Child) [2020] EWHC 2784 (Fam)

The eleven-year-old son was born in Italy and was an Italian national, as was the mother. The father had brought the son to England; the mother sought his summary return. The father asked the court to exercise its discretion to refuse to so order on the basis of the exceptions under Article 13(a) (asserting that the mother had not been exercising her rights of custody at the relevant time) and Article 13(2) (asserting that the son objected to returning to Italy and had attained an age and degree of maturity at which it was appropriate to take account of his views). Mr Richard Harrison QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, thought it was clear that the mother had actually been exercising her rights of custody. He also found that while the son had attained the requisite age and degree of maturity and genuinely objected to returning, those objections were the product of significant influence on the part of the father, who had previously recruited the child as a co-conspirator in the wrongful removal. The child's views would not be decisive of the outcome. Welfare considerations led him instead to order the child's return to Italy, albeit not until the half-term holidays.

Published: 26/10/2020


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