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11 APR 2005

ABDUCTION/COSTS: E C-L v DM (Abduction: Costs) [2005] EWHC 588 (Fam)

(11 April 2005; Ryder J; [2005] The Times May 10, Family Division)

It was inconsistent to say that the rules generally, and the costs rules in particular, applied to the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985 but that they should not have effect because the power to make a costs order against a plaintiff was not expressly set out on the face of the Hague Convention. While it was exceptional in all family proceedings concerning the welfare of children to make an order for costs unless there had been unreasonable conduct by one party or a disparity of means, there was no basis in the statutory scheme, the rules or the regulations for the court's costs discretion to be exercised only when a funded party's lawyer had acted improperly; deliberate and persistent falsification of a case in an attempt to deprive a child of his habitual residence or to render ineffective the custody and access rights of the child and parent, and their rights to a family life could lead to the making of a costs order in a case brought under the Hague Convention, even against a publicly funded party.

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