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  • The questions were whether a child should be told of his biological father, whether the husband (the psychological father) should be allowed to take the child on holiday to France, and what directions should be given relating to a deceit claim. The mother did not want the child to be told, and the biological father denied his paternity. Cohen J decided that the child should be told when an independent social worker, agreed upon by the parents, thought the time was right. He refused permission for the holiday, not being confident that the child's return could be achieved if the husband took him to the UAE. Cohen J allowed the mother's application to strike out the deceit claim to proceed to a hearing. Judgment, 18/08/2019, free
  • The mother applied to change the daughter's surname to that of her second husband. As well as applying for contact under article 21 of the Hague Convention, the father wanted to know the daughter's school and GP. He had a history of violent and threatening behaviour towards the mother and child. Theis J decided that the mother should be permitted to withhold that information, but refused the application to change the daughter's surname, because such a step would not meet her welfare needs. Judgment, 13/08/2019, free
  • The mother applied for a declaration that the child was habitually resident in the jurisdiction of England and Wales, and for orders that would prohibit the father from removing the child from her care or from that jurisdiction, in circumstances where the Sweileh Sharia Court of Jordan had issued a without notice order requiring her to place the child in the father's care immediately. MacDonald J was wholly satisfied that the child was habitually resident in the jurisdiction of England and Wales, and thus the court had jurisdiction in relation to matters of parental responsibility. It was in the child's best interests for the English court to decide the welfare issues between the parents. Judgment, 30/07/2019, free
  • An appeal from orders for costs made against those responsible for keeping two children in the Ukraine, in breach of repeated orders of the High Court. This was described by Peter Jackson LJ as "the grossest breach of trust perpetrated by individuals who appear to consider obedience to the law to be optional and disobedience affordable". He considered that there was nothing remotely surprising about the orders made in this case, and indeed found it difficult to envisage any proper alternative. Patten LJ and Lindblom LJ agreed, and the appeals were dismissed. Judgment, 30/07/2019, free
  • The mother appealed against an order that she pay £109,394 in respect of the father's costs of a previous appeal. She had dropped that previous appeal after an attempt to bribe a Russian police officer (to instigate criminal charges against the father) led to her imprisonment. King LJ found that the judge had the jurisdiction to make the order for costs, and had made a decision within the ambit of his discretion. However, counsels' fees were unreasonable, and the appeal was allowed on that ground. The sum to be paid was reduced to £78,144. Underhill LJ and Moylan LJ agreed. Judgment, 22/07/2019, free

Latest know-how

  • Case note for Re C (A Child) [2019] EWHC 131. Case note, 06/08/2019, members only
  • In a tweet: Successful application by a father (“F”) for return of the child to a state other than the one in which the family had been habitually resident when the wrongful removal occurred. Case note, 08/07/2019, free
  • In brief: A successful application for recognition of an adoption order made in the Philippines in 2006 in which the judge found that the four pre-requisites to recognition of adoption in common law, as set out in Re N (Recognition of a Foreign Adoption) [2016] EWHC 3085, had been met. The Secretary of State for the Home Department was joined as an interested party because the outcome of the decision impacted the family’s prospects of applying to live in the UK. Case note, 08/07/2019, 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: Successful application made under the Hague Child Abduction Convention despite a delay where mother (“M”) had been unaware of the Convention prior to her application. Case note, 08/07/2019, members only

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