Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Annual Report of the Office of the Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales indicates increase in child abduction cases

The annual report on the activities of the Office of the Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales (for 2011) has been published.

The main headline from the report is the year-on-year increase in the number of cases referred to the Office since it was created in January 2005. The number of 'specific case requests' has risen from 3 in 2005, to 27 in 2007, to 180 in 2011, with a projected figure of 240 for this year. The Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales, Lord Justice Thorpe, speculated that the rise may, in part, be as a result of the continuing growth in international family litigation.

The number of jurisdictions with which the Office does business has also increased, from 13 in 2007 to 51 in 2011.

In 2011, 59% of the requests for assistance concerning specific cases came from practitioners, often directed by the Judge. 26% came from judges and the remaining 15% came from litigants, officials (Central Authority and Embassy staff) and charities (reunite).

The report may be read here (PDF).

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