The children involved in the application were aged almost 5, almost 4 and almost 2 at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. The parents were married and both enjoyed rights of custody.
The children had spent their entire lives in New Zealand. On 13 April 1993 the mother unilaterally took them to Australia.
On 28 June 1993 the Judicial Registrar awarded sole custody to the mother, unadvised by her solicitors that the father had initiated Hague Convention proceedings.
On 16 July 1993 the Family Court of Australia made a return order.
The mother appealed.