Alex Aspinwall appeared on behalf of the respondent mother in proceedings brought pursuant to article 12 of the Hague Convention 1980 for summary return of a child to Slovakia. The mother opposed the application and relied on the defence set out in article 13(b) of the Convention.
Alex succeeded in establishing the grave risk of harm (limb one of the test) but the court found that sufficient protective measures existed in Slovakia to mitigate any risk to the mother and child.
Please see here for the judgment.
Alex Aspinwall (for the father) and Robin Powell (for the mother) appeared in a fact-finding hearing concerning allegations of abuse made by the respondent mother. The mother raised 39 separate allegations to advance a case of controlling and coercive behaviour dating from the parties first meeting until separation. The court determined that it would only hear evidence in relation to 14 of those allegations. The father, in turn, alleged a pattern of controlling and coercive behaviour directed against him. He submitted that the children’s removal from the jurisdiction was part of a wider plan to freeze him out of their lives.
Evidence was given over the course of 4 days and counsel made submissions on (a) the proper approach to considering evidence of controlling and coercive behaviour in light of the decision in Re H-N & Ors  EWCA Civ 448, (b) the approach to Lucas directions following A, B and C  EWCA Civ 451 and (c) the credibility of each party and weight to be given various pieces of evidence presented to the court.
Please see here for the judgment. The court’s findings are set out at . 10 findings were made against the father.
An appeal by the mother against an order for summary return was granted because the judge at first instance failed to give reasons for his finding that the child would not be at risk of grave harm despite a video of the father making threats to kill the child and the mother making allegations of the father threatening to kill her and her children during episodes of heavy drinking.
Application for summary return to Italy under the Hague Convention. Christopher secured the summary return of the child to the jurisdiction from which he was abducted. The Court gave guidance as to the applicability of Article 11(4) of B(II)R in cases which had commenced prior to the end, but concluded after the end, of the UK/EU withdrawal transition period.
Placement of children in Scotland. Theis J confirmed that special guardianship orders are recognised and enforceable in Scotland. Theis J said that whilst automatically recognised as though they were made in the Scottish courts, to enforce a SGO, the SG should make a registration application to the court that made the SGO.
Mother’s application to vary a Prohibited Steps Order – preventing either parent from removing the children – granted, allowing her to remove the parties’ children to Iran, a non-Hague Convention country, temporarily for the purpose of holidays, subject to certain safeguards being in place
Application for a Parental Order where the applicants had separated, where the application was made outside the statutory 6-month timescale and where there was an issue as to the proportionality of the payments made to the surrogate. Application granted