The child, a boy, was 2 _ at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. He had lived all of his life in California. On 9 June 1994 the Superior Court of California ordered that the parents should have joint custody, but the mother should have physical care and that the boy should not be removed from the jurisdiction without the consent of both parents or the leave of the court.
In July 1994 the father unilaterally took the child to Iraq.
In mid-August the parents agreed to meet in England to discuss their differences.
In anticipation of the arrival of the child within the jurisdiction, the mother petitioned the English authorities that they might intervene.