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Public law and Regulation

Case reports and guidance on public law and professional regulation issues

20 JUL 2012

R (Nicolaou) v Redbridge Magistrates' Court [2012] EWHC 1647 (Admin)

Family law - criminal law - child abduction - ‘takes out' - father not returning child to UK - warrants for arrest - judicial review

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

Divisional Court

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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