The case concerned a child born in 2004 to Portuguese parents living together in France since 2003. In August 2008, during the family’s holiday in Portugal, the parents quarreled and separated. The father returned to France alone, and the mother and child remained in Portugal. The father brought action before a Portuguese court which, in July 2010, awarded the child’s residence to the mother and organised the terms of the father’s right of access.
In August 2010, during exercise of that right in France, the father refused to return the child to Portugal, and brought an action before a French court to obtain the child’s residence. The mother applied for the child’s return. On 8 February 2011, the child’s return to Portugal was ordered. The father appealed against that ruling.