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UK parental child abduction charity pivotal in human rights case

19th December 2013

The case examined the application of the 1980 Hague Convention on civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and its utilisation alongside provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8.

The matter at hand was the return of a child to Australia, its country of origin, from Latvia where it had been taken by its mother when aged three.

The mother claimed that the Latvian court’s action in returning the child to Australia breached her human rights under Article 8.

The Latvian court was found to have been wrong in its application of the 1980 Hague convention in 2008 and the ECtHR deemed that the return had been ordered without in-depth examination of many factors relating to the family’s situation.

Reunite became involved in the subsequent Grand Chamber appeal as an independent third party. It provided written evidence to support concerns that application of the Court’s jurisprudence was not always being applied appropriately and consistently in accordance with the Hague Convention regarding international child abduction.

Following the judgment Alison Shalaby, Reunite Chief Executive, commented, “We believe that the 1980 Hague Convention must remain an effective international instrument, ensuring that children who have been abducted are promptly returned to their country of habitual residence and it is important that any guidance to its proper interpretation is clear to those who have to apply it, or who are subject to it.

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