The proceedings concerned a child born in Australia in May 2007 to unmarried parents. The parents had met in 2000 in Kosovo where they were working as United Nations volunteers. Thereafter they led independent, peripatetic lives. After her birth, the child moved with the mother between Turkey, Australia and South Africa.
Mother and child lived in Turkey from June 2009 to June 2010; the parents remained in contact, but their relationship was breaking down. Mother and child then moved to Australia, where they stayed until 1 October 2010, whereupon they moved to South Africa.
The parents then negotiated as to access and maintenance. In this process, conducted by email, the father drew attention to the return remedy under the 1980 Hague Convention. The father filed an application for the return of the child on 14 March 2011 and legal proceedings were commenced in South Africa on 14 October 2011.