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International Family Law

The leading authority on international family law

21 NOV 2012

England & Wales - Returning Abducted Children

Cliona Papazian

No one would doubt the general principal that an abducted child needs to be returned to his or her country of origin as soon as possible. In one of my recent cases, very tragically the subject child died while the Father was seeking her return. One questions if one could have done more/acted faster in such circumstances perhaps because the loss of a young life seems so very unjust.

Our domestic courts are assiduous in ensuring that incoming Hague Convention cases are dealt with very promptly. The discharge of our Convention obligations imposes considerable burdens on the public purse, the legal profession, the courts, judges and on the Cafcass High Court Team. The burdens on the latter are especially great since the court routinely positively responds to requests in Brussels II Revised (BIIR) cases for a child objection investigation for children as young as six (see Re W (Abduction: Acquiescence: Children's Objections) [2012] 2 FLR) and where an investigation of a sibling group may additionally require meeting with younger siblings or non-subject children (WF v FJ, BF and RF (Abduction: Child's objections) [2011] 1 FL 1153).

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