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Child abduction during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Date:22 MAY 2020

In Re N (A child) [2020] EWFC 35 the High Court was asked to consider whether judicial delays abroad caused by COVID-19 was a reason to depart from the general practice recommended in the decision in Re S (A Child) (Abduction: Hague Convention) [2018] 4 WLR 108 namely that the court should defer making its own return order until an application under the 1980 Hague Convention has been determined in the other member state.


In the case in question both parties were Greek. They married in 2009 and had one son who is 11 years old. Their relationship broke down in 2017 and the father later moved to England and the mother and child followed the father to England in January 2019. The child became fully integrated into life in England.

On 20 March 2020 three days before the UK commenced a nationwide lockdown the mother unilaterally removed the child to Greece on the basis that she considered it to be a safer country to reside in during the Coronavirus pandemic. The father alleged the child had been wrongly removed from England and commenced Hague...

Read the full article here.