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Supreme Court decides that Brussels II Revised applies to non-EU resident children

In I (A Child) [2009] UKSC 10 the Supreme Court has ruled that if parents opt into the jurisdiction of an EU court under article 12.3, English courts can exercise jurisdiction in respect of the child even if he or she does not lawfully reside within an EU member state.  On the construction of article 12 of the Regulation, Lady Hale concluded that nothing within it limits jurisdiction to children who reside in an EU member state. Her Ladyship’s interpretation was supported by the Practice Guide to the Regulation as well as by other sources emanating from the EU.

On the facts of this case, the court determined that the criteria of article 12.3 were clearly satisfied. The Justices expressed differing views (and not a concluded view since it was not necessary in this instance) as to the meaning of the words in article 12.3 requiring express or unequivocal acceptance by all of the parties to the proceedings ‘at the time the court is seised’. 

The full text of the judgment can be read by clicking here.