The mother fled Pakistan and secured asylum here, proving a well founded fear of persecution if she returned. She had brought her son. The father applied for the child to be returned for the courts there to decide his future, saying he had been abducted.
Held: To order the return of the child anticipating the mother could pursue her claim in Pakistan anticipated her being required to return to the country where she had been found to have a proper fear of persecution. The father offered undertakings which it was concluded could provide adequate protection to the mother. Pakistan was not party to the 1980 Convention. The child’s welfare was paramount. The 1980 Convention provided that the optimum programme for the child should be determined from his history, that a decision should be made without reference to a unilateral relocation by one parent, and the duty where tow jurisdictaions may be in conflict for one to cede jurisdiction quickly. In a difficult balancing exercise, the undertakings would make it possible for the wife to plead her case in Pakistan, and the child should be returned.
Children Act 1989 1, Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 (Cmnd 8281), Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985 P-1, Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 (Cmd 9171)
England and Wales
Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.185844