(Family Division, Cobb J, 27 March 2013)
When the mother was in the late stages of pregnancy with her fourth child she travelled to Ireland with her husband where she gave birth a month later. The mother's older three children were all subject to final care orders and lived in kinship placements away from the mother. The mother had admitted that she travelled to Ireland with the purpose of preventing the child being removed from her care.
Following the child's birth she was removed from the mother's care and placed in foster care while care proceedings were initiated. The parents returned to England and had not seen the child for 4 months. They sought a transfer of the proceedings to the English court and a return of the child to the jurisdiction. All parties were in agreement with the transfer and a request was made pursuant to Art 15(1)(b) of BIIR by the High Court in Dublin that the courts of England and Wales accept jurisdiction.
In addition to the transfer request the court was also asked to determine which local authority in England should take responsibility for the child: the authority area in which the child's half siblings were resident; or the authority area where the mother and father were now resident?
It was in the child's best interests for proceedings to be transferred to the courts of England and Wales. The circumstances in consequence of which proceedings arose, took place in X County Council, where the child's half siblings were now placed and that was the local authority with responsibility for this child. The Irish court and HSE were directed to liaise with the local authority to affect a transfer of the child in accordance with Art 56 of BIIR.