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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:

Court of Appeal reinforces focus on the children's needs, not source of risk, in Art 13(b) 1980 Hague Convention

On 27 March 2018 Lord Justice Moylan and Lord Justice Peter Jackson handed down judgment in Re W [2018] EWCA Civ 664. It said in its first paragraph that case was “unusual” because as a consequence of immigration difficulties, the mother was willing to return with the children, but may be unable to do so due to having no right to re-enter the USA.  The father would also experience difficulty re-entering the USA if he left to visit the children.

The mother appealed an order that their children should be returned to the USA in accordance with the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention (potentially) without her.  

The appeal was allowed and the order that provided for the return of the children to the USA, without the Respondent mother in the event of her visa application being refused, was discharged.

Lanzarote Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse published

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has published the text of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (the Lanzarote Convention), together with an 

Mother facing extradition from Canada for alleged child abduction

Various news outlets in Canada have reported that a Mother of two children (now aged 14 and 16) is facing the prospect of being extradited to the UK to face criminal charges of child abduction following the decision of a British Columbian Supreme Court Justice on Thursday 5 April.

Irrespective of the merits of the current application it is a salutary reminder that parental child abduction is a crime in this country.

New Practice Guidance Issued by the President - Case Management and Mediation of International Child Abduction Proceedings

On 13 March 2018, a new practice direction was issued by the President concerning Case Management and Mediation of International Child Abduction Proceedings.

 A Practice Direction tells anyone involved in judicial proceedings how to manage the case and interpret the Court rules.

In the matter of C (Children), [2018] UKSC 8;


The UK Supreme Court handed down judgement on 14 February 2018 in Re C (Children), [2018] UKSC 8. The appeal was allowed by a majority decision. The decision of the Supreme Court is significant for international children law as it effects international parents who relocate with their children.

Court of Appeal allows appeal by transgender father who had been refused direct contact with his children

Last year we commented on the case of J v B (ultra-orthodox Judaism: Transgender) [2017] EWFC 4 which concerned a father who had left the Charedi community and now lives as a woman and his quest for contact with his 5 children.  The mother of the children opposed the father’s request for direct contact on the basis that she believed that it would have severely harmful consequences for the children within the Charedi community as she believed that they would b

Creation of new international child abduction lawyers association in Italy

Partner Helen Blackburn reports on the inaugural conference in Rome. ICALI, the newly established organisation for International Child Abduction Lawyers in Italy, held its inaugural conference in Rome on 23 November 2017.

Domestic Abuse: Protecting Children in the Family Court

On 2 October 2017, an amended practice direction came into force in the family courts: Practice Direction 12J Child Arrangements and Contact Orders: Domestic Abuse and Harm (PD12J).

Are covert recordings starting to ‘bug’ the Court?

Covert recordings are now an increasingly common feature of family law proceedings.