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ABDUCTION: Re F (Abduction: Removal Outside Jurisdiction) [2008] EWCA Civ 842

Date:22 JUL 2008

(Court of Appeal Thorpe; Toulson and Rimer LJJ; 22 July 2008)

A judge who had discharged his own orders for summary return of two children to Mozambique, on the basis that the children were settled, had failed to reflect sufficiently the mother's fragile prospects of remaining in the UK. In cases concerning the power of the judge in wardship and the power of the Secretary of State interface it was highly desirable that there should be communication and collaboration between the two powers. Given that settled future residence in England had ceased to be an option for the children, the family court had an obligation to make it plain to the Secretary of State that the interests of the children would be better served by a return to Mozambique under the court's control than by forcible removal to the mother's country of origin, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The children's return had to be subject to the strictest supervision and control by the court.