The parents were married and lived together in Norway until 1998. The mother then moved to Iceland with their three children, the oldest being a boy born in 1989. In 1999 the parents separated and agreed to have joint custody over all the children, with the two youngest to live with the mother in Iceland, the eldest boy, at his own request, to live with his father in Norway.
Following a period of contact in the summer of 2000 the mother refused to return the eldest boy to his father in Norway. She then filed a custody application in Iceland. The father requested the return of the child, first as a defence in the custody case, but later also through the Central Authorities in Norway and Iceland.
On October 13th 2000, the District Court of Reykjav?k refused to grant a return order on the basis that the Convention was not applicable and also because it found that the child objected to a return to Norway. The father appealed the District Court’s decision to the Supreme Court of Iceland.