A schoolgirl has been allowed to stay in Britain despite the fact that her mother violated international law when she brought her back to the UK. Judges at the Court of Appeal ruled that the girl was entitled to make up her own mind in a landmark court ruling. In August, the father used the Hague Convention to secure a High Court order that required the return of his two daughters to America for their futures to be decide there.
The Court of Appeal heard that the girl had extensive family and friends in her home town of Middlesbrough. She made a statement insisting that she would refuse to travel to Canada to live with her father, who had originally gone to America for work.
Before deciding the case the Court conducted an interview with the elder girl, which is highly unusual. The girl was described by one of the Appeal Court judges as having become ‘defiant’ over her initial ‘reluctance’ in her quest to return to Middlesbrough.
The children’s mother had gone across the Atlantic and deceived the father before ‘abducting’ the two girls. Her actions had caused significant problems with her former partner and had continued to have repercussions thereafter. Despite this, the Court overturned the High Court order to return them to the USA on the basis of concerns that the children’s wishes hadn’t sufficiently been taken into consideration by the High Court.