MALAYSIA Minister backs IGP’s decision to ignore Seremban child abduction


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KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi defended today the police’s decision to ignore the alleged abduction of a boy by his Muslim convert father in Seremban, saying it was the Home Ministry’s “official stand” not to intervene.

“What has been mentioned by the IGP… that is the official stand by KDN,” he said at a press conference after speaking at the Putrajaya Forum 2014 here, referring to his ministry by its Malay initials.

Ahmad Zahid was asked to comment on criticisms against Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who had last week said the police would not act on an abduction complaint against Izwan Abdullah because the latter was granted custody rights over his child by the Shariah Court.

Izwan, a Muslim convert previously known as N. Viran, had reportedly made off with his six-year-old son last Wednesday, two days after the Seremban High Court granted full custody of the boy and his nine-year-old sister to his estranged Hindu wife.

The court had awarded custody to S. Deepa, 30, as her marriage to Izwan, 31, in 2004 was a civil union and did not come under shariah law.

Despite a 2009 Cabinet prohibition of unilateral child conversions, Izwan made both his children embrace Islam last year, and later used their conversions as grounds to seek their custody in the Shariah Court.

It is understood that Izwan, a former lorry driver who currently works for an Islamic NGO called Yayasan Kasih Sayang, had converted both their children in April last year without Deepa’s consent.

Deepa, who filed for divorce and custody of the children in December last year, has been estranged from her husband since 2011.

The case is another in a series of inter-faith custody battles that highlight the complexities of Malaysia’s parallel civil and Shariah legal systems.

Legal experts have insisted that despite the conflicting decisions by the civil and shariah courts, the police’s refusal to act against Izwan’s alleged abduction of his son would only encourage more such cases in the future.

Source: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/minister-backs-igps-decision-to-ignore-seremban-child-abduction

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Parental Child Abduction – Every other day a child is abducted in any of the Nordic countries.


March 11 , 2014

ABP World Group Child Recovery Services

Every other day a child is abducted in any of the Nordic countries. We read about it in the newspapers,
on social media and all too often the criticism of our government agencies is hard.

Re_Kidnap_Recovery_Abducted

 

Frequently the authorities takes a position of a “guarding species”, referring to the police,  prosecutor and international agreements such as  the Hague Convention. If the country, to which the child has been abducted, has signed international agreements there is at least a chance to get the child back, but at a considerable cost.

Significant sums are spent on attorneys’ fees , travels and time. It’s not uncommon that two or three years goes by before you get a result which unfortunately, after all this time, can go in either way.

If there is no signed agreements with the country to which the child has been abducted, the probability of bringing  the child back home with the authorities’ help is nonexistent.

In these cases there are private operators who specializes in assisting the parent, who by court has been awarded custody and from whom the child has been abducted, in actively helping him/her to find a solution. It means that they for example can step in and mediate, coerce or simply locate the child and actively assist the parent in a retraction. What you must always try to achieve is to have the rightful parent physically present in such an action.

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In all cases when it needs to go to this level, preparation and groundwork is extremely important.

The risk of  an intervention to get violent is not an option, all actions must be carried out in a safe and secure manner.

We at ABP World Group is one of several companies in the industry offering such services and with more than 10 years of experience we are the first to lament that there is a market for this. What we can do is to offer an active solution to a problem that unfortunately has a potential to be lifelong.

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The Hague Convention is not enough to recover your child


July 8, 2012

Many left-behind parents are told that the Hague Convention will bring about the return of their abducted children. Some authorities say that if your child is abducted, you should follow procedures outlined by the Hague, but this is a flawed system that does not work.

Until 1980, there was no international system in place to help parents recover abducted children who had been taken to other nations. The Hague Convention attempted to create one, but it doesn’t work. If you take the time to read the well-intentioned text of the Hague, you’ll see its many flaws.

In our opinion, it’s not worth the large amounts of money, time and trouble to hire an attorney to try using the Hague Convention to get your child back. You aren’t likely to get him or her back — and even worse, the abducting parent could be “legitimized” by the courts in another nation.

Under the Hague Convention, a case must be filed in the country where the abductor has taken the child. The courts of that country tend to render their decisions in favor of their countrymen, as the Hague Convention focuses on residency, not citizenship. There is little concern for the fact that the child is a citizen of the country from which he or she was abducted, or for the possible detrimental effect on the child.

Even if the child was born in your country, if that child is found to be a “habitual resident” by the courts in another country, the child may be ordered to be returned to that country.

This underscores the need to act quickly.

Few, if any, of the Hague signatory countries are going to send anyone out to physically recover your child for you. Embassy officials will check on the child’s welfare, if it is known where the child is and if the abducting parent lets them.

As soon as abducting parents are aware that that they’ve been located, they’ll usually disappear with the children again.

And about hiring lawyers

You need to be aware that a great amount of money has been spent on lawyers in foreign abduction cases. The unfortunate fact is that they, most often, can’t practice in the foreign courts and are required to hire associate lawyers in the foreign country.

Note: they often have no qualifications or experience working with child abduction cases.

More money…

Educate yourself

Many resources are available to help you learn about parental child abduction. If you’re dealing with an abduction, the better informed you are, the better equipped you’ll be to cope.

Recover your child

Time is of the essence. Parentally abducted children are helpless on their own and confused by the irrational and sometimes abusive acts of non-custodial parents who are supposed to have their best interests in mind. ABP World Group Ltd. has the manpower and the know-how to rigorously cover all avenues, and bring your child home.

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One key to ABP World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

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Warning: Christmas is parental kidnapping season


THE number of single parents kidnapping their own children is on the rise with hardline community groups advising fathers that government agencies are slow to act over Christmas.

There are nearly 200 parental abductions cases across the country every year and The Daily Telegraph understands that one single fathers’ group is telling its members the Christmas holidays are an ideal time to take children without consent because courts are on a go-slow.

Geoff Day condemned the agency and said estranged parents often take children during the holidays – and do not return them after access visits.

Mr Day said custodial parents were frustrated because Australian laws were so outdated that it could take months to set a court date to get a recovery order.

Karen Morris, whose agency Inter-relate runs three of the Federal Government’s new Family Relationship Centres, said long court waiting lists were part of the problem.

“The waiting lists in court are, and have been, an issue although they have started to come down,” she said.

“Christmas is so emotive. Parents argue a lot over who gets the kids. That combined with (the fact that) some services aren’t in full force does elevate the risk.”

NSW has one of the highest rates of international child abduction and solicitor Sally Nichols, who deals with a number of these cases, said international cases in particular were a trend – with mothers the common culprit.

“International (abduction) is generally on the increase, and domestically it’s chronic at this time of year,” Ms Nichols said.

One single mother, who spoke to The Daily Telegraph yesterday, said she was told government agencies could do nothing to retrieve her daughter, who was taken by her father before Christmas, without a copy of the official court order.

But almost two weeks later she still had not seen the order and was unable to find a solicitor to take her case.

“He ended up bringing her back, but if he had not done that he would still have her.

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UAE and Egypt rank high in UK parental child-abduction list


Source: Dubib.com

The UAE is one of the top locations for abductions of British children by one of their estranged parents, according to information released by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Arabian Business has learnt.


Countries that have not signed up to the 1980 Hague Convention, which includes those in the Middle East, are not compelled to abide by UK court orders to return a child abducted from the UK by either of its parents, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said.

While a spokesperson from the FCO would not give a breakdown of the data by country, he did admit the UAE ranked high among the 97 countries included in the rankings and it was the highest in the GCC.

“In 2010/11 we saw the highest numbers of new child abductions cases to non-Hague Convention countries in Pakistan, Thailand, India, China, Algeria, Malaysia, Egypt, UAE, Ghana and Iran,” a FCO spokesperson old Arabian Business.


In the last year, data from the FCO said a total of 161 British children were taken by one of their parents and abducted abroad. This is a ten percent rise on previous years and has led to the launch of a campaign by the FCO to combat the issue.

“We are very concerned that we continue to see an increase in the number of cases of international parental child abduction. The latest figures suggest the problem affects people from all walks of life and not just certain types of families or particular countries,” said FCO Minister Jeremy Browne.

Sharon Cooke, advice line manager for Reunite International Child Abduction Centre in the UK, welcomed the latest advice and said while sometimes there were no warning signs, there are things people could look for which may indicate their child was at risk.

“The most obvious warning sign is a break down in a relationship but other signs may include a sudden interest in getting a passport or copy birth certificate for the child… There’s often a perception – fuelled by a number of high profile cases – that it’s about fathers abducting their children, however statistics show it is mainly mothers – either intentionally or unintentionally,” Cooke added.

Join the Group: International Parental Child Abduction

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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Jamaica: Police get child abduction guides from The U.S


The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) yesterday received a much-needed boost in its investigative response to cases of missing and abducted children, with a United States donation of 23 investigative guides on how to respond to child abductions.

The Child Abduction Response Plan, which will be used by the JCF’s Criminal Investigative Branch (CIB), was officially presented to the JCF by Lazaro Andino, legal attache at the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during a handing over ceremony at the Office of the Police Commissioner on Old Hope Road in Kingston.

“We understand based on our cooperation with the JCF that there has been a problem here in Jamaica with missing children, abducted children, exported children and when the JCF reached out to us for any resource we might have in this regard, we were happy to be able to find something that we could provide to the JCF that hopefully will facilitate the JCF capabilities to investigate these matters,” Andigo said.

He expressed the hope that the kit will assist the JCF, adding that the US Government and the FBI looked forward to more cooperation and collaboration between both countries.

The kit, according FBI’s assistant legal attache Patrick Wren, contains a check-off sheet on all of the investigative steps that should be taken by the police officer who is responding to a missing child or child abduction report .

So far, he said, the FBI had found the kit to be, “extremely effective as it provides the responding officer with the ability to collect all of the necessary information from the matter is reported.”

Meanwhile, Superintendent Wilford Gayle, second in command at the CIB who accepted the kits, thanked the US Government and the FBI while noting that the kits will go a far way in strengthening the policy that the JCF has developed to address the problem of abduction.

“We are indeed grateful for this kit. We have been grappling for a long-time with cases of child abduction, we have developed policy on it and now that we have got a state of the art plan to assist us, it certainly will enhance our investigative capabilities,” he said.

Source: Jamaica Observer

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Help reunite families destroyed by parental abduction


Source: yourfriendswood news.com

As our nation grapples with important issues involving a weak economy and out of control spending, there is one troubling concern that hits closer to home: the growing number of child abductions by non-custodial parents. These kidnappings are devastating and occur too frequently, but they can be solved with help from the public.

Bianca Lozano, a girl who has not seen her own mother in sixteen years, turns 18 years old on August 19th. Bianca was kidnapped during a weekend visit by her non-custodial father, Juan Antonio Lozano, when she was only 18 months old. Evidence indicates that Juan Antonio Lozano originally fled to Mexico after taking Bianca from her mother.

Her mother, Deana Herbert, has spent the last 16 years searching for a single clue about the safety and well-being of Bianca. She continues to work with federal, state and local law enforcement, Harris County officials, the State Department, the Texas Attorney General’s office, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the FBI and Crime Stoppers in Houston to locate her daughter.

This tragedy was brought to my attention shortly after I took office. We have consistently worked to encourage community awareness and to keep pressure on law enforcement to be diligent in solving this case. The communities both in the US and Mexico can help law enforcement with tips or any information they may have concerning Bianca’s whereabouts.

I urge the public to be aware of this tragedy and to aid in our efforts to find Bianca and other children like her. I am counting on the good nature of all Americans to think carefully if you have seen this girl or her father and to let authorities or my office know if you have any information about Bianca’s whereabouts.

Last year, at least 1,500 children were unlawfully taken to foreign countries by a parent who had been living in the United States. Only 578 of those children were returned home.Roughly one third of the abducted children ended up in Mexico because of the parent’s ties to extended family or because of Mexico’s proximity. Unfortunately, international parental abductions are growing rapidly, which makes finding these kidnapped children all the more difficult.

Five minutes is too long for a mother to go without knowing the whereabouts of her child. Sixteen years is unbearable. I implore the good people of Texas and Mexico to come forward with any information.

As the father of two wonderful children, I can only imagine the heartbreak Deana has felt over the past 16 years, missing her daughter’s milestone moments. We have tried to work with the State Department on this matter but time is running out. Due to the International agreement of the Hague Act and Bianca’s 18th birthday, the State Department is very limited in what they can do moving forward to help this family. That is why I am asking for the public’s help to look carefully and help connect this girl with her mother.

Bianca, now 18, has a light-brown, semi-oval-shaped birthmark on her right shoulder blade. At the time of her disappearance she had pierced ears. If anyone has any information about her location, please contact the FBI or local law enforcement. Bianca Lozano deserves to know that she has a mother in Texas who loves her very much and wants to know she is safe.

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Abduction and the child’s “best interests” – analysis


June 14, 2011 by Rosalind English, UK Human rights Blog

E (Children) FC [2011] UKSC 27 – read judgment see previous post for summary

This case shows some of the difficulties thrown up by the interesting tension between the primacy of children’s interests implied by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the controls on child abduction exerted by the 1980 Hague Convention.

The Human Rights Convention, in requiring that states ensure respect for family life,  protects first and foremost the rights of the child. But of course the Hague Convention has different priorities. The first aim of that instrument is to deter either parent from taking the law into their own hands and removing themselves and their children to another jurisdiction. If abduction does take place, the next object of the Convention is to restore the children as soon as possible to their home country, so that any dispute can be determined there, since the parent left behind is the wronged party, and should not be put to the trouble and expense of coming to the requested state in order to participate in the resolution of factual issues here. Article 12 therefore requires a requested state to return a child forthwith to its country of habitual residence if it has been wrongfully removed in breach of rights of custody. Article 13(b) mitigates that obligation if there is a “grave risk” of “physical or psychological harm.”

So far, so good. But this limitation on the duty to return has to be restrictively applied if the object of the Hague Convention is not to be defeated. In any event, it is rarely appropriate for a court to hear oral evidence  of the allegations made under article 13b and so neither those allegations nor their rebuttal are usually tested in cross-examination.

Children’s interests: where are they on a scale of importance?

To complicate matters further, Article 3(1) of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child also plays a role. This provision also ensures the primacy of the child’s interests:

“In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”

As Jacqueline Renton points out in her excellent analysis of this case,’ “a” primary consideration’ is not the same thing as ‘“the” primary consideration’ or “the paramount consideration”. Nor does the Children Act 1989 apply to apply in Hague cases so as to make the child’s best interests “the paramount consideration.” But this somewhat begs the question of what all these adjectives mean. If there is a sliding scale of importance involved, then each of these words “paramount”, “the/a primary” etc should be clearly allotted their appropriate level so that practitioners and parties understand their chances in court.However, when the Grand Chamber of the Strasbourg Court attempted to do something like this  in  Neulinger and Shuruk v Switzerland [2011] 1 FLR 122,  it seems to have caused great consternation by concluding that the primacy of the best interests of the child should determine the outcome, even if it went against the aims of Article 13(b) of the Hague Convention.

This consternation is expressed in the first paragraph of the Supreme Court’s judgment in this case, given by Lady Hale and Lord Wilson, and most of the following paragraphs are given over  to diluting the effect of the Grand Chamber’s decision.

Objectives of the Hague Abduction Convention

In considering the primary aims of the Hague Convention, the Supreme Court acknowledges that there was “no doubt” that the paradigm case which the Convention draftsmen had in mind was a dissatisfied parent who did not have the primary care of the child snatching the child away from her primary carer. Nowadays, the Court accepted, things have changed.

 the most common case is a primary carer whose relationship with the other parent has broken down and who leaves with the children, usually to go back to her own family. There are many more international relationships these days than there were even in the 1970s when the Convention was negotiated, so increasingly returning to her own family means crossing an international boundary.

There are other problems with the implementation of the Hague Convention. It is not only “all too common” for courts to recognise that there may be some truth in the claims of domestic abuse and ill-treatment – even violence – by the abducting parent,  but even if they do suspect there are some grounds to these allegations, they grant the return order sought under the Convention without any assurance that undertakings for the safety of the parties returned will be observed. Indeed, as this judgment observes, “the whole concept of undertakings is not generally understood outside the common law world.”

We have posted before on the primacy of children’s interests under other legislation involving cross-border matters (such as section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009).  The Hague Convention contains no express requirement for  the court hearing a case under its provisions to make the best interests of the child its primary consideration. Given that the objective of the Hague Convention is that the child should be present in the jurisdiction where the factual issues as to its upbringing are decided, the dominant theme of the instrument is that the best interests of the child will be served by a prompt return to the country where it is habitually resident.

An anachronism in a changing world?

This flies in the face of all the other areas of judicial endeavour where children are involved; there is nothing in modern life, where mass movements of people, be they refugees, economic migrants, or simply warring families, that dictates that the restoration of a child to “familiar” surroundings is a good thing in its own right. Those familiar surroundings may have involved violence, war, poverty, disease, a whole range of pestilences that drove the child away in the first place; this is why appeals to family rights carry weight in asylum cases. This was the thrust of the AIRE centre’s intervention.  It cannot be logical for one Convention to restrain the government from returning refugees to countries where they face torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or the risk of an unfair trial, when another Convention requires that an abducting parent should be returned to face such a risk.

Yes, the Hague Convention may be primarily concerned with routing the factual assessment of the family situation back to the jurisdiction where the deserted parent abides, but in any cases where Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention predominates, a full factual analysis is (or should be) undertaken of the emotional, psychological, material and medical nature of the interests at stake; how then is this analysis to be barged aside when the case also involves an abduction? This is precisely why the Strasbourg Court said, in Neulinger , that Article 8 should be applied to any case being decided under the Hague Convention; it follows that

 a child’s return cannot be ordered automatically or mechanically when the Hague Convention is applicable. The child’s best interests, from a personal development perspective, will depend on a variety of individual circumstances, in particular his age and level of maturity, the presence or absence of his parents and his environment and experiences. . .. For that reason, those best interests must be assessed in each individual case.

In doing so, the Supreme Court complains, the Strasbourg Court

 gives the appearance of turning the swift, summary decisionmaking which is envisaged by the Hague Convention into the full-blown examination of the child’s future in the requested state which it was the very object of the Hague Convention to avoid.

Although it sticks in this blogger’s craw to defend the Strasbourg Court, for once, I think, that Court got it right. It is not, indeed, for the Strasbourg court to decide what the Hague Convention requires. Its role is to decide what the ECHR requires. But where another Convention appears to be undermining the very interests that are so vigilantly protected by the Human Rights Convention, then what is this judicial body to do? It is simply wishful thinking to suggest that Article 8 can never “trump” the Hague Convention; that in some inchoate way “they march hand in hand” (sic). How can they possibly be so compatible when, on the one hand, Article 8 prevents the return of families to destinations where they may not be entitled to  a certain level of healthcare, while, on the other,  the Hague Convention return obligation is only lifted if there is a “grave” risk of  harm? In the Supreme Court’s own words –

“grave” characterises the risk rather than the harm, there is in ordinary language a link between the two. Thus a relatively low risk of death orreally serious injury might properly be qualified as “grave” while a higher level of risk might be required for other less serious forms of harm. [italics mine]

Hmm. Put in context, the children in this case face being returned to a father who, allegedly, laid about them and tormented and killed family pets as a form of intimidation.  Are we seriously being asked to believe, as this judgment suggests we should believe, that this is the sort of “rough and tumble” that every child has to put up with (“it is part of growing up” (para 34)? There were all sorts of undertakings made by the father, to be sure, which led the original trial judge to make the order, but these were undertakings given to the English High Court which cannot be enforced in Norway. Even at the time of this appeal there were no orders yet made in the Norwegian courts. The fact that the Supreme Court had real concerns about the children and mother in this case is betrayed by their request to the Hague Conference to consider putting in place some sort of mechanism to ensure that protective orders and undertakings are enforced in the requesting state.

Let’s have some clarity on where the weight to be given to the child’s best interests in all the areas of legislative endeavour where this is relevant – terrorism, asylum, immigration, family and social welfare law. Without such clarity, it is hard to believe that Article 8 considerations are really being taken into account within the Hague Convention, rather than being paid mere judicial lip service.

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Hungary accused of failing to enforce Hague Convention orders


Hungary accused of failing to enforce Hague Convention orders, writes Carol Coulter

WHEN FAMILY disputes arise, or sometimes when there is a dispute between parents and state child care authorities, it occasionally happens that a parent flees the jurisdiction with the child.

This eventuality is covered by The Hague Convention on Child Abduction, to which most countries outside the Islamic world are signatories.

The Irish authorities processed 233 cases relating to international child abduction in 2010, of which 140 were new applications.

Many were subsequently either withdrawn or settled by consent. In 25 cases the children were ordered to be returned to the state from which they had been abducted.

Usually when a child has been wrongfully removed from his or her normal place of residence by a parent and a court orders his or her return, the child is produced and the return takes place in an orderly manner. If this does not happen, the Garda have the power to arrest the parent concerned and secure the child’s return.

However, it may not happen so smoothly in all jurisdictions. An Irish father, Dr Leslie Shaw, is still seeking the return of his daughter Fiona from Hungary more than three years after she was removed from the family home in France by her mother, despite the fact that the Hungarian courts have ordered the return of the child.

He is now seeking the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and of the European Commission to have the orders seeking Fiona’s return enforced.

He is also seeking to draw international attention to what he claims is the flouting by Hungary of international law.

His lawyer, Laurent Hinkler, has written to the parliamentary members of the Council of Europe, the parent body of the ECHR, drawing their attention to the “violation of the law of the European Union, of private international law and the European Convention on Human Rights”.

Fiona was abducted in December 2007 by her mother Krisztina Orosz and her father immediately took proceedings in Pest, Hungary, seeking her return under The Hague Convention. The court granted his application. This decision was unsuccessfully appealed by Ms Orosz, ultimately to the Hungarian Supreme Court, which confirmed the order in November 2008.

Meanwhile, the French courts had established Fiona’s habitual residence as that of her father in France and granted him sole parental authority in April 2008. It also authorised him to exercise his parental rights in Hungary.

In March 2009 the French courts issued a European Arrest Warrant for Ms Orosz to face child abduction charges. She was arrested on July 27th, 2009, and brought to the High Court in Budapest. However, Dr Shaw’s legal representatives were not informed and she was immediately released and then went into hiding with their daughter.

The French magistrate then issued an international letter rogatory, a request for mutual legal assistance, outlining 14 specific measures sought by the French authorities to obtain the return of the child. A representative of the French prosecutorial service went to Hungary seeking to have them implemented.

According to Mr Hinkler, this initiative was unsuccessful because the Hungarian authorities refused to execute 13 of the 14 points requested. A second European Arrest Warrant and a further international letter rogatory issued in July 2010 likewise remained without effect, he stated.

“These manifest and deliberate failings of the Hungarian authorities resulted in Fiona and her mother going into and remaining in hiding since July 2009. Furthermore, the child has not attended school since October 2008,” he said in his letter to the Council of Europe.

“The refusal of Hungary to respect the statutory objective of the Council of Europe (article 1(a) ‘to achieve a greater unity between its members’) by recognizing the decisions of the French courts is extremely perilous for Fiona, whose health, safety and education are gravely compromised.”

In response to a number of questions from The Irish Times, a spokesman for the Hungarian ministry of public administration and justice said: “On the basis of a letter rogatory issued by the High Court of Paris, further legal proceedings were enacted against Krisztina Orosz on charges of child abduction between February 2010 and September 2010. Under the supervision of the prosecution service, the Hungarian police took all possible action within its competency to ensure enforcement.”

Referring to its refusal to execute the European Arrest Warrant, it said that at the time the Hungarian authorities were also bringing a prosecution against Ms Orosz on the same charges, and this meant it could refuse the request.

The case illustrates the fact that the smooth functioning of The Hague Convention requires wholehearted commitment to the mutual enforcement of orders on the part of contracting states.

Even if the law and the culture relating to child welfare issues vary from country to country, as they do, the essence of the convention is that the child’s place of habitual residence is where that welfare should be decided, in accordance with that state’s laws.

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