Family Law Hub

Brussels II Revised

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  • The mother applied for an order requiring the father to return their son from Ghana to England. The father argued that the mother had consented to the move, and that the child would benefit educationally from staying there for two more years. Four of the mother's other children had been removed from her care. MacDonald J found that the father had misrepresented the trip as a summer holiday. There was no evidence that the child's current school provision was equipped to meet his educational needs. The father himself was no longer in Ghana. MacDonald J was satisfied that the court retained jurisdiction, and ordered the child's return, making him a ward of court. Judgment, 14/06/2019, free
  • The mother challenged the recognition of a Dubai divorce, because she sought to vest the courts of England and Wales with jurisdiction to make orders in respect of the child. Moylan LJ found that the judge had conducted an extensive analysis of the evidence, and the analysis had not been shown to be partial or to give insufficient weight to the mother's situation. The judge was entitled to decide that the mother had had "a full opportunity to participate" in the process, and that the recognition of the Dubai divorce should not be refused. Baker LJ agreed. 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
  • Whether the English courts had jurisdiction under Article 3, Council Regulation (EC) 2201/2003 (Brussels IIa) for a wife to apply for a divorce in England. Judgment, 26/04/2019, free
  • The wife's divorce petition had been stayed on the basis that proceedings had already begun in Italy. On appeal, the question was whether the Italian court was still seised of proceedings. Moylan LJ held that this was for the Italian court to determine, but allowed the wife's appeal to the extent that English proceedings were adjourned, rather than stayed. Baker LJ agreed. Judgment, 26/04/2019, free

Latest know-how

  • Florence Jones, Pupil, 1 Hare Court, writes a case summary of Pierburg v Pierburg [2019] EWFC 24. Case note, 26/04/2019, members only
  • In brief: A preliminary ruling from the ECJ determined that in order to establish habitual residence under Article 8 BIIR, a child must be physically present in the member state. The circumstances of the child being physically present elsewhere are irrelevant. This was a referral from the English High Court where the father ("F") had allegedly coerced the mother ("M") into remaining in Bangladesh with the child, potentially in breach of their ECHR rights. Case note, 17/12/2018, members only
  • In a tweet: Habitual residence at time court is seised is key to jurisdiction, not where child will be living Case note, 12/01/2017, members only
  • In a tweet: High Court dismisses father's appeal against recognition and enforcement of French residence order Case note, 07/11/2016, members only
  • In a tweet: No jurisdiction under BIIR to hear appeal against refusal to enforce Romanian custody order Case note, 20/09/2016, members only

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