The application related to a boy aged 6 months, born in the UK to a British father and a Ukrainian mother. The child lived in England with his parents until April 2012 and the parents had joint custody under British law.
In April 2012 the parents travelled to Ukraine with the child to visit the mother’s relatives. They should have returned together at the end of the month but the father left Ukraine alone following a disagreement with the maternal grandparents. The mother failed to return with the child by the agreed time.
The father filed a return application in August 2012. As no amicable solution was found the judicial proceedings were initiated in December 2012, via the Central Authority of Ukraine. Over 5 years the case was repeatedly reviewed by Ukrainian courts of all instances before reaching the Supreme Court.