Aims of the Convention - Preamble, Arts 1 and 2|Settlement of the Child - Art. 12(2)|Acquiescence - Art. 13(1)(a)|Grave Risk - Art. 13(1)(b)|Objections of the Child to a Return - Art. 13(2)
Case remitted to lower court
Wrongful retention of a child when she was 5 years old - US national - parents married - father US national - mother Colombian national - both parents had custody rights under the Convention - child lived in the US until 19 December 2015 - return application was filed before the US Central Authority on 13 June 2016 - lower court was ordered to make a new judgment in the international return proceedings, taking into account the child's views - main issues: aims of the Convention - Preamble, settlement of the child, acquiescense, art. 13(1)(b) grave risk exception, child's objections to return – the best interests of the child is to be returned to his or her center of life without delay, unless one of the grounds of exception is proven - assessment of the child's settlement is appropriate only if one year has elapsed between the wrongful conduct and the date of filing of the international return application - the grave risk must be greater than the natural hardship that may result from a change of his or her residence or the dislocation of the current living group - the decision on the application of the exception of Art. 13(2) requires consideration of the voice of the child who is of sufficient age and maturity.
The Court ordered the return of the children. The Court did not accept the fathers account of events and held that, even if they were true, they would not amount to a grave risk envisaged by Article 13(1)(b).
Procedural Matters|Interpretation of the Convention
Appeal allowed, return ordered
The court allowed the appeal and ordered the child’s return to Italy. The situation did not amount to a “fundamental change in circumstances” required in order to set aside a decision under the 1980 Convention.