Civil Appeal 4391/96 Ro v. Ro

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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Grave Risk – Art. 13(1)(b)
The Supreme Court held that the exception in Article 13(1)(b) did not apply in the present case for the following reasons:- (1) If the child returned with her mother there would be no grave risk of harm to the child. The Court persuaded the mother to accompany the child back to England. (2) The expert witness claimed that the risk of harm to the child derived from the effect on the mother of a return to England. The Court stated that this would be the situation in most abduction cases where the abducting parent was compelled to accompany the child and that upholding the exception in such a case would significantly undermine the Convention. (3) The English authorities could be relied upon to protect both the mother and the child from any harm by the father. (4) Conditions imposed on the father would also minimize the risk of any harm.
The return order was made subject to conditions to be complied with by the father:- (a) The child was to be left in the sole custody of the mother in England and the father was not to see the child unless the English courts ordered otherwise; (b) The father was not to contact the mother in any way unless the English courts ordered otherwise; (c) The mother and child were to live in a separate apartment, in a place chosen by the mother, and the father was to bear the costs; (d) The father was to deposit £5,000 with the court to cover the living expenses of the mother and the child in England.