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International Family Law

The leading authority on international family law

22 MAY 2012

Ireland - Article 20 of the Hague Convention and the Irish Constitution

Joanne A Kirby, Barrister at Law, jkirby@lawlibrary.ie

The relevance of the removal of children from the jurisdiction of England and Wales by parents or other parties to the Republic of Ireland, in an attempt to evade care proceedings, is an ever growing issue. This is largely due to the increase in websites and sources highlighting Ireland as a safe haven from social services in England and Wales. The popularity of Ireland appears to be due to the difference in adoption law and the lack of necessity for a passport on the ferry between the two countries. As a result, parties, often with no previous connection to Ireland, relocate their entire lives to Ireland in the belief that they will be able to wipe the slate clean and avoid the perceived ‘interference' of local authorities. These relocations often happen within 24 hours of any form of notification of the intention of social services to commence proceedings.

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