The Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales, Lord Justice Thorpe, has reported a 96% increase in the number of new child abduction cases reported to his office in 2011 compared to 2010.
The Office of the Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales functions as a centre of expertise and a help desk for general enquiries in the field of international family law for the judiciary and practitioners.
According to its annual report, in 2011 the office dealt with 180 new cases concerning 51 jurisdictions across the world compared to 92 cases in 2010 and just 3 in 2005 when the office was established.
The report states that the reason for the increase may, in part, be as a result of the continuing growth in international family litigation. In 2010 almost two-thirds of children born in London had at least one foreign parent, illustrating the potential for significant future growth in international family litigation.
As at 8 March 2012 the office has dealt with over 40 separate international cases in 2012. If that pattern continues unabated, it will lead to a total of 240 new cases in 2012.