One of the most senior Family Law judges in England and Wales has spoken out in support of continuing plans for Japan to implement the Hague Convention on Child Abduction.
Lord Justice Thorpe is the Head of International Family Justice and takes an active role in trying to strengthen links between judicial authorities in different countries when dealing with family law cases with an international element.
At present, 87 countries are signed up to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction, which is an international treaty which sets out a recognised system for dealing with cases of parental child abduction and which provides a presumption that an abducted child will be swiftly returned to a country from which they have been wrongfully taken unless certain, very limited, circumstances apply. Whilst co-operation between the signatory countries is generally good, there are a number of countries which are noticeably absent from the list and from where it is extremely difficult to get any co-operation in trying to return a child, or arrange contact between the child and the 'left-behind' parent. Historically, Japan always appeared resist to signing and implementing the Convention, but significant progress has been made in recent years and it is now expected that the country will implement the Convention in the near future
Parents with international links who wish to move their children between countries are always advised to seek specialist advice before doing so, in order to avoid being unexpectedly involved in abductions proceedings.
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By Cara Nuttall, Child Law Expert