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Brussels II Revised (BIIR) - Care proceedings - Art 56, Brussels II Revised - Lithuanian mother brought child to live in UK - When court determined mother could no longer care for child Lithuanian authorities made an Art 56 request to return the child - Whether Art 56 placed an obligation on English court to comply with request.
17 July 2012
Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
Thorpe and Black LJJ, Sir Stephen Sedley
The Lithuanian mother brought her 4-year-old daughter to England to live. The child had previously been in local authority care in Lithuania and the authorities there notified the English authorities of their concerns. As a result the local authority obtained an emergency protection order and the child had remained in foster care. Proceedings were transferred to the High Court due to the possibility of the Lithuanian authorities seeking a return of the child pursuant to Art 56 of BIIR. The Lithuanian court had already determined that no familial placement could be found for the child and, therefore, if she were to return she would be reliant on foster care. The local authority in England drew the same conclusion and when the case was remitted back to the county court for determination the judge included an order directing that the court should determine whether the child should be returned to the care of her mother and if not practical arrangements should be made for compliance with the Art 56 request. The mother appealed and the court was asked to adjudicate on the responsibilities under Art 56 of BIIR.
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