Cannon v. Cannon [2004] EWCA CIV 1330

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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The application related to a 10 year old girl who had been born to an American father and an Irish mother. The family home was in California and the child lived there until December 1998 whereupon the mother retained the child in Ireland after an agreed vacation.
The father instituted Hague Convention proceedings. An agreement was made by the parents in July 1999 for the child to return. This happened but the mother then removed the child a very short time later. The child was not located until the autumn of 2003, when she was discovered living under an assumed identity in Liverpool, England.
On 15 October the child was placed into local authority care pending the commencement of return proceedings. She was reunited with her mother on 31 October, but this was made subject to a variety of conditions, including the mother wearing an electronic tagging device.
On 12 December the High Court delivered an interim order which considered the power of a court under English law in Convention proceedings to direct a local authority to make such arrangements as were necessary for a child to be placed with an appropriate person, institution or other body where such a course was necessary “for the purpose of securing the welfare of the child concerned or of preventing changes in the circumstances relevant to the determination of the application”; see: Re C. (Abduction: Interim Directions: Accommodation by Local Authority) [2004] 1 FLR 653.
Following the interim proceedings an attempt was made at mediation but this failed. On 28 May 2004 the Family Division found that the child was settled in her new environment and held that a return order could not therefore be made. The father appealed the legal interpretation placed on Article 12(2) by the trial court.