Friday, June 10, 2011

E (Children): Supreme Court dismisses mother's appeal

With reference to this post, the Supreme Court has today delivered its judgment in E Children). The mother's appeal was unanimously dismissed. You can read the full judgment here, a press summary (in .PDF format) here, and a summary on Family Law Week, here. Family Law also have a news item on the case, here.

It will be recalled that the main issue was the correct approach to the Article 13(b) exception to the duty to return under the Hague Convention. Here is the relevant extract from the press summary:
"The exceptions to the obligation to return are by their nature restricted in scope and should be applied without extra interpretation or gloss. Violence and abuse between parents may constitute a grave risk to the children. But where there are disputed allegations which can neither be tried nor objectively verified, the focus of the inquiry is bound to be on the sufficiency of any protective measures which can be put in place to reduce the risk. The clearer the need for protection, the more effective the measures will have to be. In this case, the trial judge was satisfied that medical treatment would be available for the mother and that there were legal remedies to protect the children should they be needed. It is not the task of an appellate court to disagree with the trial judge’s assessment."

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UPDATE: Jacqueline Renton, Barrister, of 4 Paper Buildings, offers some initial thoughts on the decision on Family Law Week, here.

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