President’s Guidance of 10 November 2014: The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) is available to view here.
This ICACU leaflet provides some general information about the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) and its
role which you may find helpful to read in the first instance when you are
considering making a request for co-operation to the ICACU.
The ICACU is the operational Central Authority:
(1) in England
for Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003
also known as ‘Brussels IIA’ or ‘the Revised Brussels II Regulation’ (‘the
(2) in England for the 1996 Hague
Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and
Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the
Protection of Children (‘the 1996 Hague Convention’) (the Welsh Government
is the Central Authority in Wales for the Convention).
The ICACU is also the operational central authority for England and
Wales for the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child
Abduction, and the European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions
Concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children but
this standard email response
focuses on the Regulation and the 1996 Hague Convention.
Both the Regulation and the 1996 Hague Convention provide for
co-operation between central authorities.
The ICACU handles co-operation requests both into and out of this
Chapter IV of the Regulation and Chapter V of
the 1996 Hague Convention are the co-operation chapters. Please see in particular Articles 55 and 56
of the Regulation and Articles 30, 33 and 34 of the 1996 Hague Convention.
Can the ICACU help you?
Is the other
Is the request for co-operation in scope of
the Regulation or 1996 Hague Convention?
- a Member State
of the European Union (other than Denmark); or
- a State
Party to the 1996 Hague Convention?
Please note that notification to consular authorities pursuant to the
President of the Family Division’s decision in Re E (Brussels II Revised: Vienna Convention: Reporting Restrictions)  EWHC 6 (Fam),  2 FLR 151 is not a request for
co-operation. Consular authorities are
based in a country’s Embassy or High Commission. If you are need to give notice to consular
authorities you should contact the other country’s Embassy or High Commission.
1 of the Regulation, or
1, 3 and 4 of the 1996 Hague Convention
Can you help to avoid delay in obtaining a
response to your request?
There are no time requirements in either the Regulation or in the 1996
Hague Convention for responding to a request for co-operation and communication
may involve both the need for translations and for the requested central
authority to liaise with their own competent authorities in order to respond to
the request. It is therefore all the more important that your request is:
Please specify the Article or Articles you are relying on in the
Regulation or the 1996 Hague Convention.
Be clear about the information you are asking for.
If there are court proceedings your request should be made as early as
possible. Please make it clear if there
is a listed court hearing and tell the ICACU what week it is in the court
Check you have provided enough information and/or supporting documents
and/or reasons to enable the other central authority to be able to respond to
your request. But do not simply provide
all the documents in the case.
Helpful sources of information
Please see below. Helpful sources include:
– a 2012 decision of the Court of
Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) on the operation of Article 56
(Placement of a child in another
State) of the Regulation. This is because the ICACU’s experience has
been that an Article 55 request for co-operation may be followed, or
accompanied by, a request for consent to placement of a child in the other
– domestic cases which consider and
provide guidance about the differing roles of the Judicial Network, central
authorities, consular authorities and the court.
Domestic case law:
- CJEU decision in C‑92/12 PPU (operation of Article
56 of the Regulation) –
Other European legislation which may be relevant
to your enquiry:
- Council Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of 13
November 2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial
documents in civil or commercial matters – The
transmitting agency in England
under Article 2 of the Service Regulationis the Senior Master. The
central body under Article 3 of
the Taking of Evidence Regulationis also the Senior Master. The administrative unit is the
whose contact details are:
Regulation (EC) No
1206/2001 of 28 May 2001
on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of
evidence in civil or commercial matters – Taking
of Evidence Regulation
the attention of the Foreign Process Section
Courts of Justice
+44 20 7947 6691
+44 20 7947 7786
+44 20 7947 6488
+44 20 7947 6327
+44 20 7947 1741
870 324 0025
The UK Central Authority for the Exchange of Criminal Records (‘the UKCA-ECR’) is the UK’s central authority
Council Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA of 26 February 2009 on the organisation
and content of the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record
between Member States’ is the relevant framework for requests for criminal
records from other Member States.
You should contact
the UKCA-ECR direct for information about the process.
The UKCA-ECR’s contact details are:
The ICACU will contact you about your own
request shortly. If having read this you
send any further correspondence or information before we have responded to you,
please make sure you refer to your earlier correspondence when doing so.