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ABDUCTION: Re Y (Abduction: Undertakings Given For Return of Child)

Date:29 JAN 2013
Law Reporter

(Court of Appeal, Thorpe, Longmore, McCombe LJJ, 22 January 2013)

The Cypriot mother took the child from their home country where the father continued to live and relocated to the UK. The father brought proceedings under the Hague Convention which were resisted by the mother pursuant to Art 13(b) on the grounds that she was in fear of her safety due to domestic violence perpetrated by the father.

The judge determined that the issues would be best determined in Cyprus but in response to the mother's concerns protected measures in the form of undertakings were provided by the father. The judge accepted the father's claim that the Cypriot court would recognise the undertakings under the 1996 Hague Convention and, therefore, no additional route of recognition, by way of application to the court would be necessary. The mother appealed claiming there was doubt as to the recognition of undertakings by the Cypriot court and, accordingly, there had been no protective measures in place to justify the child's return.

The mother's appeal was dismissed. The terms of the 1996 Hague Convention construed the term ‘measures' broadly to include undertakings. The whole purpose of the 1996 Hague Convention was to support the Convention of 1980 and parties to which would already be familiar with the use of undertakings. The judge had been entitled to conclude the Cypriot court would recognise the undertakings as protective measures outlined in the 1996 Hague Convention.