Child abduction—introduction and issuing proceedings (1980 Hague Convention)

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Child abduction—introduction and issuing proceedings (1980 Hague Convention)
  • General approach
  • Who may apply?
  • Central authority
  • Public funding
  • Issuing an application
  • Child abduction mediation scheme
  • Implications of Brexit

Child abduction—introduction and issuing proceedings (1980 Hague Convention)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance has been issued, including by the President of the Family Division, regarding all proceedings in the Family Court in England and Wales during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and until further notice, which affects normal practice, including provision for some family hearings to be dealt with remotely. For details about the changes to court processes and procedures during this time, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID–19)—news and resources for family lawyers. In addition, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit provides easy access to news, practical guidance and Q&As from across a number of Practice Areas (subject to subscription). The President has issued temporary amendments to the practice guidance on case management and mediation in international child abduction proceedings. During this period of disruption to the justice system, practitioners should be aware that local practice may vary.

This Practice Note sets out the applicable law in relation to child abduction cases where a country is a contracting state in relation to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 (the 1980 Hague Convention), together with the availability of public funding, the role of the central authority and steps to be taken to issue an application for a return order. It also considers the child abduction mediation scheme and the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of

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