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Supreme Court to deliver judgment in habitual residence case

Appeal from B (A Child) (Habitual Residence) (Inherent Jurisdiction) [2015] EWCA Civ 886

The Supreme Court will deliver its judgment in B (A Child) on Wednesday, 3rd February 2016. The appeal is fromB (A Child) (Habitual Residence) (Inherent Jurisdiction) [2015] EWCA Civ 886.

The Court will determine:

i. whether B lost her habitual residence immediately upon her departure from England and Wales; and

ii. whether the Court of Appeal was wrong to decline to exercise the inherent jurisdiction to order B's return to the UK.

The appellant and the respondent were in a same-sex relationship which broke down in late 2011. Their daughter, B was conceived by IVF and was born in April 2008. The respondent is B's biological mother and sole legal parent. The appellant considers herself to be a de facto parent. B, who is now aged 7, was taken from the United Kingdom to Pakistan by the respondent in February 2014. Following this, the appellant commenced Children Act proceedings, and applied for B to be made a ward of the court and to be returned to the UK.

The High Court and Court of Appeal considered that it did not have jurisdiction to entertain the proceedings as B was not habitually resident in the UK when the Children Act proceedings were commenced. The courts declined to exercise the inherent jurisdiction to order B's return to the UK.

The Court of Appeal judgment is here.

28/1/16