D.G.H. v T.C.H. (Child Abduction: Parties)

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMs. Justice Finlay Geoghegan
Judgment Date24 June 2003
Neutral Citation[2003] IEHC 47
Docket Number[2003 3M/ 3250J]
CourtHigh Court
Date24 June 2003

[2003] IEHC 47

THE HIGH COURT

Record No. 3M/2003
H (DG) & MIN FOR JUSTICE v. H (TC)
IN THE MATTER OF THE CHILD ABDUCTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF
CUSTODY ORDERS ACT,1991 AND IN THE MATTER OF THE HAGUE
CONVENTION AND IN THE MATTER OF THE LUXEMBOURG
CONVENTION AND IN THE MATTER OF RCH AND GWH, CHILDREN.

BETWEEN

DGH

AND

THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND LAW REFORM

AND

THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND LAW REFORM, AS THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY FOR IRELAND (EX PARTE DGH)
APPLICANTS

AND

TCH
RESPONDENT

Citations:

RSC O.15

HAGUE CONVENTION ON CIVIL ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION ART 29

CHILD ABDUCTION & ENFORCEMENT OF CUSTODY ORDERS ACT 1991 S8(2)

CHILD ABDUCTION & ENFORCEMENT OF CUSTODY ORDERS ACT 1991 S6

CHILD ABDUCTION & ENFORCEMENT OF CUSTODY ORDERS ACT 1991 PART II

CHILD ABDUCTION & ENFORCEMENT OF CUSTODY ORDERS ACT 1991 S11

CHILD ABDUCTION & ENFORCEMENT OF CUSTODY ORDERS ACT 1991 S9(2)

HAGUE CONVENTION ON CIVIL ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION ART 7

HAGUE CONVENTION ON CIVIL ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION ART 7(A)

HAGUE CONVENTION ON CIVIL ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION ART 7(C)

HAGUE CONVENTION ON CIVIL ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION ART 7(F)

HAGUE CONVENTION ON CIVIL ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION ART 7(G)

RSC O.133 r2

RULES OF THE SUPERIOR COURT (NO 1) (CHILD ABDUCTION & ENFORCEMENT OF CUSTODY ORDERS ACT 1991) 2001 SI 94/2001

RSC O.2 r2

RSC O.2 r2(1)

Synopsis:

FAMILY LAW

Child Abduction

Hague Convention - Practice and procedure - Preliminary issue - Parties to proceedings - Central Authority - Whether Minister as Central Authority obliged to initiate or join in judicial proceedings for return of child wrongfully removed from jurisdiction - Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act 1991, section 9 - Hague Convention, article 7 - Rules of the Superior Courts 1986, Order 15 (2003/3M - Finlay Geoghegan J - 24/6/2003)

H (DG) & Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform v TCH - [2003] 3 IR 393

Article 7 of the Hague Convention obliges Central Authorities to cooperate with each other to secure the prompt return of children and to achieve the objects of the Convention. In particular, it obliges the Central Authorities to take all appropriate measures to do a number of matters which are set out at paragraphs (a) to (i) of Article 7 including: “(a) to discover the whereabouts of the child who was being wrongfully removed or retained;… (c) to secure the voluntary return of the child or to bring about an amicable resolution of the issues; … (f) to initiate or facilitate the institution of judicial or administrative proceedings with a view to obtaining the return of the child and in a proper case, to make arrangements for organising or securing the effect of exercise of rights of access; (g) where the circumstances so require, to provide or facilitate the provision of legal aid and advice, including the participation of Counsel and advisors;…”.

The first applicant made a request to the Minister for Justice as the Central Authority for Ireland under the Hague Convention for the return of the minors named in the title. Thereafter, the Minister for Justice directed the Finglas Public Legal Aid Law Centre to take instructions from the first applicant and proceed on his behalf with an application to the High Court for the return of his two children to the jurisdiction of their habitual residence. By order of the High Court (Abbot J), it was directed that the Minister be joined in the proceedings. The Minister then applied pursuant to Order 15 of the Rules of the Superior Courts 1986 to be removed as a party to the proceedings being, essentially, functus officio at that stage.

Held by Finlay Geoghegan J in directing that the Minister for Justice be removed as a party to the proceedings that section 9 of the Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act 1991 required that where the Central Authority received an application to which the Hague Convention applied “…it shall take action or cause action to be taken under that Convention to secure the return of the child.” The fact that the Central Authority was obliged to take action or cause action to be taken did not require the Central Authority to be an applicant in any court proceedings which were taken as the “action” referred to in section 9 of the Act of 1991 had to be construed in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 of the Hague Convention. On the facts of this case, the Central Authority did take action of the type envisaged at paragraphs (f) and (g) of Article 7.

Ms. Justice Finlay Geoghegan
1

The first named applicant is the...

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    • 4 March 2008
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