The proceedings related to children born in Poland in 1996, 1998 and 2001. The Polish parents had married in April 1996 and separated in August 2005. In subsequent proceedings, the Court in Zamosc, Poland awarded custody to the father and contact to the mother. Thereafter the mother relocated to the United Kingdom. In September 2010, she applied to the Polish Court to vary the contact order and was granted holiday contact in the United Kingdom three times a year.
During the children’s July 2011 holiday in England, the mother applied to the Zamosc Court for custody and for the relocation of the children to England. The mother failed to return the children at the end of their 3-week vacation. The father promptly applied for their return under the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention.
On 12 October 2011, the High Court ordered the return of the children. The mother then petitioned for leave to appeal against the return order. The children applied for leave to intervene and for permission to appeal.