The proceedings concerned a child born in France on 14 July 2008 to a French father and a British mother. The parents’ marriage broke down shortly after the birth.
A divorce was pronounced by the Regional Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) of Angoul?me (France) on 2 April 2012; parental responsibility was to be exercised jointly with the habitual residence of the child to be with the mother from 7 July 2012, and access for the father. The mother was permitted to “set up residence in Ireland” and the judgment was declared “enforceable as of right on a provisional basis as regards the provisions concerning the child”.
On 23 April 2012, the father brought an appeal against the judgment. On 5 July 2012, the First President of the Cour d’appel of Bordeaux dismissed the father’s request for a stay on the provisional enforceability of the judgment.
On 12 July 2012, the mother travelled with the child to Ireland.
On 5 March 2013, the Court of Appeal (Cour d’appel) of Bordeaux overturned the judgment.
On 29 May 2013, the father brought an action before the Irish High Court seeking an order, under Article 12 of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention and Articles 10 and 11 of the Brussels IIa Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003), for the return of the child.
On 10 July 2013, the family judge of the Regional Court (Tribunal de grande instance) of Niort awarded the father exclusive parental authority, ordered the return of the child and a prohibition on the child leaving France without the permission of the father.
By judgment of 13 August 2013, the Irish High Court dismissed the father’s return petition, finding the child to have been habitually resident in Ireland from the time her mother took her to Ireland with the intention of settling there.
The father brought an appeal against that judgment on 10 October 2013.
On 18 December 2013, the father made an application to the High Court (Ireland) on the basis of Article 28 of the Brussels IIa Regulation, for the enforcement of the judgment of 5 March 2013 of the Court of Appeal of Bordeaux. That application was successful, but the mother, who on 7 January 2014 brought an appeal on a point of law against that judgment before the Cour de cassation (France), made an application on 9 May 2014 to the High Court for a stay on the enforcement proceedings.
On 31 July 2014, the Irish Supreme Court issued a request for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The three questions asked were subsequently refined by the CJEU.