Habitual residence and Hague

An interesting development from England, where the UK Supreme Court has ruled in LC (Children), that when determining the question of a child’s habitual residence in cases of wrongful removal and request for summary return, the state of mind of the child, at least in the case of a mature adolescent, may be relevant to the inquiry.  The Court also held that the first instance court had been wrong in declining to make the child a party to the proceedings.  Lady Hale (with whom Lord Sumption agreed) went further than the majority of the Court and said that consideration of the state of mind of children in such cases should not be confined to those who have reached adolescence. She determined that the consideration should extend to the state of mind of the three older children in the case – aged 13, 11 and 9. The full judgment can be accessed here: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2014/1.html.

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