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Bromley's Family Law

Bromley's Family Law (12th edn)

Nigel Lowe, Gillian Douglas, Emma Hitchings, and Rachel Taylor
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date: 28 September 2023

22. International Parental Child Abductionlocked

22. International Parental Child Abductionlocked

  • N V Lowe, N V LoweEmeritus Professor of Law at Cardiff University
  • G Douglas, G DouglasProfessor of Law at King’s College London
  • E HitchingsE HitchingsProfessor in Family Law at University of Bristol
  •  and R TaylorR TaylorAssociate Professor of Law at University of Oxford and Fellow in Law at Exeter College, Oxford


This chapter concerns parental child abduction, that is, where one parent takes the child to another place or jurisdiction without the other’s consent. The chapter discusses the issue both where the abduction is within the UK and where the child is taken to a foreign jurisdiction. The chapter begins by looking at the mechanisms to prevent abduction. It then considers the inter-UK position under the Family Law Act 1986 followed by an examination of the international position first with regard to abductions to and from ‘non-Convention countries’ and then with regard to those governed principally by the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention. In the latter regard it discusses the concepts of rights of custody, wrongful removal and wrongful retention and habitual residence. It then examines the making and refusing to make orders for the child’s return and ends with a discussion about the position with regard to access.

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