Re D. (A Child) (Abduction: Rights of Custody) [2006] UKHL 51

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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The application related to a boy born in Romania in July 1998. The parents were divorced and the mother was granted the primary role of care for the child. In the autumn of 2002 the mother moved to the United Kingdom, got married and commenced a degree course. The child remained in Romania and was cared for by the maternal grandparents. On 24 December 2002 the mother took the child to England.
On 14 February 2003 a return application was issued in the High Court. The case was listed for trial on 12 May. The wrongfulness of the removal was contested and the Court ordered that an Article 15 declaration be sought from the Romanian authorities. On 25 May 2004 a court of first instance in Bucharest ruled that the father only had rights of access.
The father appealed. On 9 June 2005 the Court of Appeal of Bucharest reaffirmed the ruling of the court of first instance. On 1 August 2005 the High Court in London granted a request by the father that an expert opinion on Romanian law be made to clarify the Romanian judgments. There were then further procedural hearings during the autumn of 2005. On 1 March 2006 the High Court ordered the return of the boy to Romania.
On 25 May this ruling was upheld by the Court of Appeal: Deak v Deak [2006] EWCA Civ 830 [INCADAT Reference: HC/E/UKe 866]. The mother was subsequently granted leave to appeal and the child was granted leave to intervene and be separately represented.