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15 December 2011
Denham C.J, Murray, Fennelly, Macken and O'Donnell JJ
Care proceedings involving 2 children issued by Nottinghamshire County Council. Father ("F") and Mother ("M") were both English. The parents took the children to Ireland without informing Nottinghamshire County Council, and before that point had lived in England and had no connection to Ireland. The Council issued proceedings in Ireland for the return of the children under the Hague Convention 1980. At the time that the proceedings were issued, the children had been placed into the care of the Irish Health Service Executive. The parents raised a human rights defence under article 20 of Hague Convention 1980, namely that their right to family life (article 8 of ECHR 1950) under the Irish Constitution would be breached if a return order was made because English law permitted adoption of children in a wider range of circumstances than in Ireland. The Irish High Court ordered the return of the Children to England - adoption in this case was no more than a ‘possibility' and did not amount to a breach of the parents' rights. The parents appealed.
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