The application concerned six children. On 13 March 1993 the mother, with the consent of the father, took the four children then born to Australia. In July 1993 the mother gave birth to twins.
On 1 November 1993 the Family Court of Australia granted the mother sole custody of all six children. On 17 May 1994 the father applied to the Australian Central Authority for assistance in securing the return of the children. His application was refused on the ground that there had been no wrongful removal.
On 16 December 1996 the Family Court of Australia refused an application by the Australian Central Authority to secure access rights for the father.
The Central Authority appealed.