Re A.; H.A. v. M.B. (Brussels II Revised: Article 11(7) Application) [2007] EWHC 2016 (Fam)

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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The application related to a 2 year old child who was born in England to a Palestinian father and a French mother. The parents had married in England in 2001 and this afforded the father a right of residence in the country until 2008. After the birth the mother took the child to France for two short stays. The second stay was extended due to the mother being hospitalised. During this time the mother became alarmed by the father’s behaviour and she returned alone in August 2005 to inform the father that she wished to end the marriage.
In September 2005 the mother commenced divorce proceedings in France. Return proceedings were subsequently commenced in France. On 12 July 2006 the father’s application was rejected on the basis that the child would face a grave risk of harm if sent back. At this time, unknown to the father, both mother and child were back living in England. However, upon the non-return order being made mother and child went back to France.
The father sought to appeal the non-return order, but delays between the English and French Central Authorities led to the time limit being missed. Nevertheless, the non-return order automatically triggered the mechanisms of Brussels II a Regulation and this led to proceedings being brought in England to determine whether the child should be sent back notwithstanding the non-return order.