Egeneonu v Egeneonu

Family proceedings – Orders in family proceedings. The Family Division dismissed a mother's application for a declaration that contempts of court, which had been found proved against a father for his breach of orders made in family proceedings, by failing to return their children from Nigeria, constituted criminal offences and, together, an extradition offence. The children in question had been made wards of court following their removal to Nigeria. The court considered the principles which applied to wardship and contempt and held that any assertion that the contempts found proved in the present case were criminal because the children were wards of court was unsupported by authority and wrong both in principle and in law. It further held that it could not find the father in criminal contempt in circumstances where the judge in the committal hearing had not so found and where criminal contempt had not been pleaded in respect of that application.

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