Cass Civ 1?re, 12 avril 2012, Nº de pourvoi 11-20.357

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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Objections of the Child to a Return – Art. 13(2)
The mother complained that the Court of Appeal had ruled without interviewing the two children, who had applied for it.
The Supreme Court observed that the Court of Appeal had “rightly pointed out that interviewing a minor was contingent on the latter’s understanding” and that it had duly exercised its discretion, on the basis of the contents of the letters from the children, aged 9 and a half and 6 at the time, in ruling that they did not “have the necessary understanding to state before the Court their view as to the desirability of their return to Mexico”. The Court accordingly dismissed that plea.
Interpretation of the Convention
Children’s best interest:
The mother further pleaded that the Court of Appeal ought not to have ordered the children’s return because in all rulings relating to children, the child’s best interest should be a “paramount consideration”.
In her view, as the exceptions to a child’s return were to be appraised on the basis of the child’s interests, the Court of Appeal had breached Articles 3 of the Convention on the rights of the child of 20 November 1989 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1980 on child abduction by failing to seek to determine the interest of the two children concerned. The Supreme Court curtly dismissed that plea, on the grounds that it was not “such as to allow the appeal to be admissible”.
Author of the summary: Aude Fiorini, United Knigdom