Re E (abduction: art 13B deferred return order)

Child – Child abduction. The father's application for an order requiring the return of his child (E) to Spain, pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 (the Hague Convention), was dismissed. The Family Division held that E had been habitually resident in Spain at the relevant time. However, it held, in favour of the mother, that the defence under art 13(b) of the Hague Convention had been made out, namely that there was a grave risk that E's return to Spain would expose her to physical and psychological harm or otherwise place her in an intolerable situation. Further, among other things, the court held that none of the protective measures proposed by the father were sufficient to obviate such a risk, and that, where no response had been received from the Spanish authority concerning the situation E would face if the court decided to return her to public care in Spain, that protective measure was not practically available to the court. Accordingly, the court declined to exercise its residual discretion to return E to Spain.

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