The child, a girl, was 1 1/2 at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. She had lived in Australia all of her life. The parents were separated and had joint rights of custody. On or about 4 July 1991 the mother went to England, her State of origin, with the child.
In July 1991 the father contacted the Australian Central Authority which subsequently communicated a request to the English Central Authority. Instructions were given to solicitors to initiate Hague Convention proceedings. However, the father did not pursue the matter and an originating summons was not issued.
The father travelled to England to attempt a reconciliation, but he was unsuccessful. In September 1991, following his return to Australia, the father wrote to the mother stating that he would not seek the return of the child.
On 12 September the father’s solicitors wrote to the mother stating that the father would not proceed with the return application.
In November 1991 the father reactivated the application.