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(European Court of Human Rights, 6 November 2011)
The American father and Swiss mother lived in the USA where their child was born. When the mother took the child to Switzerland to live she petitioned for divorce and sought custody of the child. The father issued Hague Convention proceedings in Switzerland for the return of the child.
The father's application was refused 4 months later on the grounds of consent. The father claimed the proceedings had breached his Art 8, European Convention rights and had been unjustifiably delayed.
The Court of Appeal in Switzerland found proceedings had been unjustifiably delayed beyond the 6-week time limit and the European Court of Human Rights also found a breach of Art 8 and awarded the father damages.