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Section 1 of the Child Abduction Act 1984 makes it an offence for a person to take a child out of the UK without appropriate consent. However, it did not make it an offence to not bring the child back into the UK. Taking a child out of the UK was not a continuous activity - it refers only the act of removal.
20 June 2012
Richards LJ; Collins J
(1) Mr Nicholas Nicolaou (N) sought to challenge by way of judicial review a decision to issue a warrant for his arrest. N had taken his son aboard to Cyprus, as was permitted by a contact order made in family law proceedings. However, N had failed to return his son. The warrant was made on the basis that there had been an offence committed under section 1 of the Child Abduction Act 1984 which prevents taking a child out of the United Kingdom without the appropriate consent. The Crown Prosecution Service had successfully argued before the district judge that ‘takes out' is a continuing activity such that the taking out becomes unlawful if the appropriate consent does not exist at the point in time when the child leaves the jurisdiction.
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