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Summary Return

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  • The father applied for the summary return of the daughter to Malta, pursuant to the Hague Convention 1980. The defence raised by the mother was that the child was not habitually resident there. The child was 21 months old and had lived initially and mostly in England, but had also spent time in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, Malta and France. None of the contemporaneous correspondence between the parents illustrated a desire on the part of the father for the daughter to return to Malta, held Mr Teertha Gupta QC, sitting as a High Court judge. The child's habitual residence was always in England because she moved too often to be integrated anywhere else. Any proceedings concerning her would need to be in the Family Court in England. Judgment, 02/12/2019, free
  • The father applied for the summary return of two young girls to the USA. Mr Robert Peel QC had to make a determination as to whether the Hague Convention was engaged and, if so, whether there were statutory exceptions to the principle that the children should be returned to the country of habitual residence for decisions as to their future to be made. He found that the father had not consented to any permanent removal of the children to this jurisdiction. He also found that the pattern of domestic violence and abuse was not such that the Article 13(b) threshold was crossed, nor did the question marks about the mother's immigration status in the United States establish an Article 13(b) defence. Mr Robert Peel QC proposed to make an order for return on the basis of the protective measures he outlined. Judgment, 29/11/2019, free
  • The mother had been in Poland with the daughter for two years, after a wrongful retention. The Polish court had refused the father's application under the 1980 Hague Convention in view of allegations of sexual abuse made against the father and paternal grandfather. The father now applied for the daughter's return under Article 11(7) of Brussels II Revised. Mr Teertha Gupta QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, did not accept that the mother had been disenfranchised by the process. The question for him was whether it was in the child's best interests to return here, in order for a court to make enquiries and determinations about her best interests. The Guardian's position was that the child should be returned with immediate effect for assessment. Mr Teertha Gupta QC concluded that he had no alternative but to order the child's return. Judgment, 28/11/2019, free
  • 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

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