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Appeal dismissed in Australian Hague Convention case

Four sisters will not have separate representation but will be re-interviewed for a further hearing

The four Italian/Australian sisters, who have been the subject of a high profile Hague Convention case in Australia, will have another opportunity to have their views taken into account before a final decision is made regarding their future. 

The sisters were due to be returned to Italy earlier this year but hit the headlines when they went into hiding with their great-grandmother where they turned to social media to gain support for their situation.   The girls were found and have since been returned to the care of their mother pending the outcome of an appeal, made by their great-aunt, on the grounds that they were denied procedural justice because they were not given separate legal representation when their father issued proceedings to have the girls returned to Italy in 2011.  This appeal was dismissed last week. 

The girls will not be returning to Italy just yet, as they have secured another temporary reprieve pending a further hearing at the end of September.  The judge has ordered that the girls are to be interviewed by a family consultant so that their wishes are accurately conveyed to the court.

The sisters, who claim they want to stay in Australia with their mother, left Italy in 2010 for what their father claims was a one month holiday from which they failed to return.

For more details, read the report in the Brisbane Times.

Written by Emma Nash  who is a solicitor with Spring Law and writes a regular blog on family law matters.