Family Law Hub

Wrongful Removal

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  • The father sought an order for the summary return of the daughter to Israel. The mother claimed that this would subject the daughter to a grave risk of exposure to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place her in an intolerable situation. MacDonald J disagreed. Asked to consider previous findings involving the same father, he said that the court should be cautious about importing judicial observations made in the context of a different relationship and factual framework. He considered that the mother's actions constituted a premeditated and blatant act of child abduction, intended to circumvent the due process of the Israeli courts, and ordered the daughter's summary return in time for the new school term. Judgment, 08/05/2019, free
  • The mother made an application under the Hague Convention for the return of the son to New Zealand. The father had expressed concerns about the child's well-being in his mother's care. Darren Howe QC had to proceed on the basis that there was a risk of harm, but he noted that there had been improvements in the mother's parenting, and accepted her undertaking to prevent contact between her partner and the child. The father had not proved a grave risk of harm or an otherwise intolerable situation for the son and the defence therefore failed. An order would be made for the return of the son to New Zealand. Judgment, 08/05/2019, free
  • The father sought the summary return of his son to California. HHJ Robertshaw allowed oral evidence on the issue of acquiescence but found that very little of value or relevance was gained. The written communications did not support a defence of acquiescence under Article 13(a), and the judge was satisfied that adequate arrangements could be made to secure the child's protection after his return, so the defence under Article 13(b) (grave risk of harm/intolerability) also failed. A return order was made. Judgment, 08/05/2019, free
  • Applications were made to redact a previous judgment concerning international child abduction, on the basis that criminal charges might be brought. Mostyn J said that such redactions would rob the judgment of the coercive effect that it was designed to achieve, and no decision to charge had yet been made. The applications were rejected. Judgment, 29/04/2019, free
  • The mother took the children to Ukraine on an agreed holiday and did not return them. The father sought an order that would permit certain information about the case to be publicised. Mostyn J decided that the mother, her new husband and her father (a former Vice-President of Ukraine) could be named and their photographs published. Judgment, 23/04/2019, free

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