Family Law Hub

Jurisdiction

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  • A four-year-old girl with British citizenship had been taken to Egypt, and the court had to determine whether she had been habitually resident in England and Wales before then and thus wrongfully removed, and, if she had not, whether the court had jurisdiction to order her summary return. The father contended that the removal was pursuant to the terms of an order made in Beirut. Both parents were Lebanese nationals, and both were currently in England, the child having been left with family members of the father. The mother had accused the father of domestic violence. MacDonald J was satisfied that the child had been habitually resident in this jurisdiction, and that the court retained jurisdiction under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court. The daughter was a British citizen and both parents were here and intended to remain here, making this the appropriate forum for determining the welfare issues. Returning the daughter from Egypt would create the best chance of her resuming contact with her mother, and there was no one in Egypt with parental responsibility for her. She should be returned from Egypt. The existence of the Beirut order did not prevent this. Judgment, 17/03/2020, free
  • The children had repeatedly told their guardian, and through her the court, that they wanted to continue living with their mother in England. The Spanish court had ordered that they live with their father in Spain. Russell J DBE found that on any objective and neutral analysis both children were habitually resident in England. They were settled here and were fully integrated into their schools and social environment. There was no significant evidence contrary to such a finding, and jurisdiction was with and in this court. The mother's appeal against enforcement of the Spanish order was allowed. The children would live with her, and would have contact with the father, subject to him providing written permission for the renewal of the children's passports, and documentary evidence that the Spanish order had been discharged and all criminal complaints in Spain against the mother had been dropped. Judgment, 06/02/2020, free
  • The father appealed against the registration of an order made in Poland, which had required him to pay £300 a month maintenance. He had paid this amount up until the CMS had made a new determination. An application to enforce the original order had been made to the Polish courts, who declined jurisdiction. HHJ Moradifar found that by 2012 jurisdiction in relation to the child maintenance was in England and thus the CMS was the competent authority. The father's application against registration of the Polish order was allowed. Judgment, 27/01/2020, free
  • The parents were British and Jordanian nationals, who married in Jordan in 2010 and moved to England in 2011. The mother applied for a declaration that their six-year-old son was habitually resident here, and for an order prohibiting the father from removing the boy from the care of the mother or from this jurisdiction, and from making further applications regarding the child in Jordan. The father argued that the Kingdom of Jordan was the appropriate legal forum for determination of the welfare issues. MacDonald J was wholly satisfied that the child was habitually resident in the jurisdiction of England and Wales, where he had been born and had lived for all but sixteen months. It was therefore the natural and appropriate forum for the welfare issues to be determined. Judgment, 03/01/2020, free
  • The husband had been ordered to pay the former wife a lump sum of £20m in full and final settlement of her claims. Eleven years later, not a penny had been paid. A without notice order had been made appointing receivers of shares in a Spanish company, of which the husband had been found to be the beneficial owner. This receivership order was set aside following an application by other parties, and the wife now appealed against the set-aside order. Baker LJ decided that the judge had been wrong to set it aside on the mere assertion by the other parties that they were the owners of relevant shares. A third party could not expect to receive the protection of the court if it wasn't prepared for the rights it claimed to be scrutinised. Arguments on limitation, jurisdiction and estoppel also failed. Moylan LJ and Longmore LJ agreed, and the receivership order was restored, the latter adding that the application to set aside the receivership order had been misconceived from the start. Judgment, 23/12/2019, free

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