Cass Civ 1?re, 13 juillet 2005, No de RG 05-10519

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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Grave Risk – Art. 13(1)(b)
The Cour de cassation affirmed that Article 13(1)(b) could not give rise to an exception to an immediate return unless there was a risk of grave harm or the existence of an intolerable situation. It further recognised that Article 3(1) of the UNCRC had direct application in French law and that the circumstances of the case had to be considered in the light of the best interests of the child. It held that the cour d’appel, which was not required to order a psychiatric examination, had in its evaluation of the evidence concluded that the existence of a grave risk of harm had not been made out. In particular the cour d’appel found the evidence produced by the mother to be very general in nature, not supporting of her case and contradictory with the facts as presented by the parties themselves in the Belgian proceedings. Furthermore it was noted that on 21 January 2004 the mother had herself declared to the Brussels police that the children were not at risk whilst with their father. The Court concluded that the cour d’appel had taken the child’s best interests into account and had clearly justified the decision it had taken.