The child who was aged approximately 1 1/2 at the date of the alleged wrongful removal was born in France to a Canadian mother. On 13 May 1992 the mother relocated to Montr?al (Canada) with the child. In letters dated 5 March and 21 April 1993 the father sought the assistance of the French Central Authority.
On 7 June 1993 rejected the application on the basis that the mother alone had parental responsibility in respect of the child at the time of the removal so that the latter could not be qualified as being wrongful under the 1980 Convention. The father petitioned tribunal administratif in Paris to request that it annul the decision of 7 June 1993. On 21 February 1996 le tribunal administratif dismissed the father’s application finding that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter.
On 11 July 1997 the Cour Administrative d’appel de Paris allowed the father’s appeal in part: the tribunal administratif had jurisdiction to hear the case, but the application was rejected on the merits since the Central Authority had the power not to process the application on the basis of Article 27 of the Convention. The father challenged the legality of this decision before the Conseil d’Etat.