Australia’s Approach to International Child Abduction: Practical Experiences & Lessons Learnt

Australia’s Approach to International Child Abduction: Practical Experiences & Lessons Learnt

8 May 2009

We live in an era of ever increasing globalisation and ease of movement,. The benefits of international co-operation in matters concerning children have never been more important. The multi-cultural nature of today’s relationships has meant an increase in child abduction cases. There is often a need to enforce ‘custody’ orders outside of the country in which these orders are made.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction took effect in 1983 and to date has 81 signatories (Appendix A). It seeks to address this issue in a proactive way. The treaty requires Courts in the receiving country to send children back to their countries of “habitual residence”. All custody issues are then litigated in that country subject to limited exceptions.

This paper seeks to outline Australia’s approach to child abduction and share some of the practical experiences and lessons learnt by the legal profession.

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Disclaimer

This article is not legal advice and the views and comments are of a general nature only. This article is not to be relied upon in substitution for detailed legal advice.

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