Family Law Hub

Jurisdiction

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  • The father appealed against an order for the two children to be returned to Russia. Moylan LJ, Peter Jackson LJ and Arnold LJ decided that both the father's appeal regarding habitual residence and the mother's cross-appeal regarding repudiatory retention would be dismissed, but that the judge's order made under the inherent jurisdiction would be set aside. When the 1996 Hague Convention applied, recourse could only be had to the inherent jurisdiction if permitted by the code established by the Convention. Here, there was no gap in the scheme of the Convention to justify exercising the court's inherent powers. The right course was for the mother's application for enforcement of the Russian court's order to be determined as soon as possible. Judgment, 03/12/2019, 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
  • Leave to apply for financial relief had been granted to the wife at an ex parte hearing under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. The husband applied to set it aside. The parties lived only in Russia throughout the marriage, and had become very wealthy during the 1990s. There had been a blizzard of litigation since the divorce. The husband alleged that Cohen J had been materially misled by the wife's representatives when making the order. Cohen J regretted having been persuaded to hear the application without notice, and decided that the grant of leave was indeed given as a result of the court being misled, . The leave to apply for financial relief was set aside. The wife's application was considered afresh and dismissed. Her case was not appropriate for determination in England and Wales. Judgment, 12/11/2019, 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
  • The father had applied for the return of the children from Ukraine, where they had been kept for ten months. Mostyn J had stayed the application, in anticipation of the Ukrainian court reinstating the father's application there. This did not happen, so the stay was lifted and the application would be heard. Directions were given, but the judge also urged the parties to explore a mediated solution to the case. Judgment, 21/06/2019, free

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