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22 SEP 2016

Al Jeffery v Al-Jeffery (Vulnerable Adult: British Citizen) (No 2) [2016] EWHC 2309 (Fam)

Al Jeffery v Al-Jeffery (Vulnerable Adult: British Citizen) (No 2) [2016] EWHC 2309 (Fam)
(Family Division, Holman J, 13 September 2016)

Abduction – Adult – Young woman held in Saudi Arabia by father – Woman expressed a wish to remain – Whether the court rely on that expression

Directions were made for the young woman to have a face-to-face meeting with her solicitor in Saudi Arabia.

The 21-year-old young woman was born in Wales and lived there until she was 17. She had dual Saudi and British citizenship. In 2012 she went to Saudi Arabia at the insistence of her father and had remained there ever since. She claimed he was mistreating her, keeping her under constraint at his flat and refusing to permit her to return to the UK.

An order had been made under the inherent jurisdiction requiring the father to permit and facilitate the woman's return to the UK: [2016] EWHC 2151 (Fam). Since then, the woman had not returned to the UK and she had communicated with her solicitor via email, text, and telephone. The woman sent an email to the court expressing her wish to remain in Saudi Arabia to work on her relationship with her father.

The woman's solicitor provided a statement to the court indicating that she believed the woman was hampered in formulating a fully informed decision, conveying her true wishes and exercising self-determination. Her view was that the woman's expressed wishes were equivocal and the court could not rely on them at present.

The judge found that the only way for the court to get a clear picture was for the woman and her solicitor to have a face-to-face meeting without anyone else present. Directions were given to facilitate that meeting in Saudi Arabia and the father was ordered to permit and facilitate that meeting. Due to the father's strong objections that meeting could not take place at the British embassy, but would take place at a venue of the solicitor's choosing.

Case No. FD15F05038
Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWHC 2309 (Fam)


Royal Courts of Justice

Date: Tuesday, 13th September 2016


(Sitting throughout in public)

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B E T W E E N :


- and -


(Vulnerable adult; British citizen)
(Judgment No: 2)

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Transcribed by BEVERLEY F. NUNNERY & CO.(a trading name of Opus 2 International Limited)
Official Court Reporters and Audio Transcribers
25 Southampton Buildings, London WC2A 1AL
Tel: 020 7831 5627 Fax: 020 7831 7737

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MR H. SETRIGHT, QC and MR M. GRATION (instructed by Dawson Cornwell Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the Applicant
MR M. SCOTT-MANDERSON, QC (instructed by Osbornes Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the Respondent

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Al-Jeffery v Al-Jeffery (Vulnerable Adult: British Citizen) (No 2) [2016] EWHC 2309 (Fam)


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