Family Law Hub

Summary Return

Latest updates

  • The father applied for the summary return of three children to Germany. The mother had been the primary carer but the father had shared custody. After he went to court in Germany to re-establish contact, she clandestinely brought the children to the United Kingdom. Mr Robert Peel QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, found that she had not made out a defence under Article 13(b), and ordered a mandatory return. The German courts were better placed to decide the issues of contact, custody and possible relocation. Judgment, 07/10/2019, free
  • The mother wrongfully removed the son to the UK. Her application for asylum on the basis of being a victim of domestic violence was granted on appeal. The father was applying under the Hague Convention for summary return, and in this hearing applied for disclosure of the asylum files relating to the mother and child, contending that his Article 6 and 8 rights could not otherwise be preserved. The Secretary of State for the Home Department resisted disclosure. HHJ Corbett was satisfied that the impact of disclosure upon the asylum process would outweigh the impact of non-disclosure on the Article 6 and 8 rights of the father and child. The application for disclosure was refused. Judgment, 05/09/2019, free
  • The mother appealed against an order for summary return of the child to Israel. Moylan LJ decided that the appeal must be dismissed. He found that there was no retention such that the 1980 Convention applied, but the judge had been entitled to make an order for the child's return under the court's inherent jurisdiction, and had taken into account the identified protective measures. Haddon-Cave LJ and Flaux LJ agreed. Judgment, 21/06/2019, free
  • The father had deprived the mother and son of their passports, stranding the child in India without either parent. Having previously declined to make an order for the child's summary return to England, Williams J found that the boy's welfare was now best promoted by being reunited with his mother. He made an interim order for the boy's return, subject to judges in India removing the order that prohibited his removal from that jurisdiction. Judgment, 17/06/2019, free
  • The mother applied for an order requiring the father to return their son from Ghana to England. The father argued that the mother had consented to the move, and that the child would benefit educationally from staying there for two more years. Four of the mother's other children had been removed from her care. MacDonald J found that the father had misrepresented the trip as a summer holiday. There was no evidence that the child's current school provision was equipped to meet his educational needs. The father himself was no longer in Ghana. MacDonald J was satisfied that the court retained jurisdiction, and ordered the child's return, making him a ward of court. Judgment, 14/06/2019, free

Latest know-how

  • In a tweet: Unsuccessful application brought by father of twin boys for their return from China to this jurisdiction pursuant to inherent jurisdiction of the High Court. Case note, 13/09/2019, members only
  • In brief: The mother’s (“M”) application for a summary return of the parties’ son to the Republic of Sudan (a non-Hague Convention country) was allowed by the judge. The judgment is helpful in distilling the legal principles applicable in the context of a non-Convention application, as well as summarising neatly the key considerations to be assessed and weighed in determining a child’s habitual residence. Case note, 08/07/2019, members only
  • In a tweet: Order requiring children to return to America without primary carer places them in an intolerable situation Case note, 15/05/2018, members only
  • In a tweet: Child's subjective fear of return can establish an Article 13 defence Case note, 11/04/2018, members only
  • An unsuccessful appeal by an English mother ("M") against a return order, returning the 15-month old child to the US to live with the father ("F"). Case note, 19/01/2018, members only

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