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Supreme Court hears appeal concerning de facto or inchoate custody rights for Hague purposes

Appeal from Northern Ireland to be heard on 8th April

The Supreme Court has granted permission to appeal in the case of K (A Child) (Northern Ireland). The Court will consider whether de facto or inchoate rights of custody constitute 'rights of custody' for the purposes of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction read with Brussels II Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003).

The appellants are the grandparents of a child, KK, who was born in 2005 in Lithuania. KK lived solely in their care from shortly after his birth until March 2012, while his mother, the respondent CC, moved to Northern Ireland. In February 2012 CC returned to Lithuania, brought to an end the Power of Attorney and temporary rights of guardianship she had granted to the appellants, and on 12 March 2012 seized KK and brought him to live in Northern Ireland. A year later the appellants applied under the Hague Convention seeking the return of KK based on their de facto rights of custody over him.

The Court, comprising Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson and Lord Hughes, will hear the appeal on 8th April 2014.