The child, a boy, was 13 at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. He had lived in Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom. The parents were separated and had joint rights of custody.
From August 1995 the mother lived in Australia. In September 1996, after a short period in France, the boy moved to England with his father.
On 17 February 1997 the boy was snatched by an agent of the mother and taken to Australia. The father applied for his return.