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Top Ten Myths in International Family Law

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about international family law issues. Here is our top 10:

Child abduction returns trumped by asylum claims

David Hodson, Marianna Michaelides and Lauren Bovington 


What happens when a parent, who has abducted a child to this country and would be ordered to return the child immediately under the 1980 Hague Convention, claims asylum for themself and the child?  Which takes precedence? The English High Court has just dealt with this issue.

A stark example of the challenge faced by courts when balancing competing rights in child contact cases

By Helen Blackburn & Lauren Bovington 

On 15 November 2017 the Court of Appeal will determine the matter of J v B (ultra-orthodox Judaism: Transgender) [2017] EWFC 4. The case was decided by Mr Justice Peter Jackson in January of this year.

Could abducting parents face extradition?

By Marianna Michaelides & Lauren Bovington


The case of Egeneonu [2016] EWHC 43 (Fam)  came before Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Division of the High Court, this January 2017. The question before the court was relatively simple; whether or not a father’s contempt of court amounted to criminal or civil contempt.




Paid McKenzie friend jailed for deceit

A paid McKenzie friend, David Bright, has been jailed for perverting the course of justice within family proceedings. Mr. Bright ran an organisation that charges for the services of ‘professional’ McKenzie friends. He was recently sentenced to 12 months in prison at Wood Green Crown Court on 17 October.

China begins streaming courtroom trials Live

There is a battle in the family courts. The media understandably want to report on family court proceedings and some family practitioners seek to protect the privacy of the family courts especially hearings involving children. This has been intensifying since the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, issued updating guidance on the matter in January 2014.

Replacing the Apostille – an overhaul of legalisation in the EU

The present method for public documents to be authenticated for the purposes of being presented to a foreign jurisdiction is by way of an Apostille, a certificate of legal authenticity. An Apostille certificate is issued by government, attached to a legal document and confirms that the stamp, seal or signature on that document is genuine.  It can be a fairly complicated process.

The process is found in the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 and EU regulation 1024/2012

EU refuses to reform divorce forum jurisdiction but “speeds up” child abduction

The European Union last week, 30 June 2016, adopted the European Commission proposal’s for reform of Brussels II, the Brussels Regulation. 

This is the primary EU family law legislation. It sets out divorce jurisdiction in all member states and provides forum criteria where more than one EU member state is involved. It adds child abduction laws to the 1980 Hague Convention. It provides for the cross EU border recognition of children orders and divorce orders.

iFLG sets up Brexit family law helpdesk

The International Family Law Group LLP (iFLG) have today launched a free Brexit family law helpdesk to provide information for family lawyers here and abroad and those involved in family court proceedings about the impact of Brexit on family law.

Brexit and national family law

This note sets out some preliminary reflections on the impact on domestic, national family law of the UK voting to leave the EU.