The children, a boy and a girl, were aged 7 and 5 respectively at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. They had lived in France for the majority of their lives. The parents were separated and had joint rights of custody. In July 1993 the mother took the children to New Zealand, her State of origin.
On 16 December 1993 the father applied to the New Zealand Family Court for the return of the children.
On 25 February 1994 the Family Court ordered that the children be returned to France.
The mother appealed.