Child abduction—wardship and inherent jurisdiction (non-Hague Convention)
Child abduction—wardship and inherent jurisdiction (non-Hague Convention)

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

  • Child abduction—wardship and inherent jurisdiction (non-Hague Convention)
  • Principles
  • Procedure
  • Practice directions

This Practice Note is impacted by the exit of the UK from the EU on 31 January 2020. This has implications for practitioners, inter alia, when considering which courts have jurisdiction to determine a dispute. For guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—children proceedings. This Practice Note sets out the current position on wardship and inherent jurisdiction in child abduction cases involving a country that is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on Civil International Aspects of Child Abduction 1980 (the Hague Convention).

In March 2018, the then President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, set out detailed and extensive guidance on, in particular, case management and associated matters such as witness evidence and bundles that applies to international child abduction proceedings. The guidance should be followed in addition to the relevant provisions of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010) as to procedure. The guidance also provides details of the child abduction mediation scheme, launched on 16 April 2018 (in conjunction with the child abduction charity Reunite). See News Analysis: Practice guidance issued on case management and mediation in child abduction proceedings.

A range of standard orders have been issued regarding child abduction proceedings, including directions orders for wardship proceedings and separate standard order directions in relation to cases involving the protocol that applies to Pakistan. See Practice Note: Standard orders—child abduction.