Protecting Children from unintended effects of return orders under the Hague Convention

This article will discuss a way forward for dealing with the not infrequent harm done to children and their carers as a result of return orders made under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention). I will examine the need for some intervention and the role to be played by the Convention of 19 October 1996 on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (the Protection Convention). I will also advocate for the provision of Legal Aid to the abducting parent as a cost effective means of minimising the harm done to children by traumatic returns to their country of habitual residence and a means of speeding up the resolution of these difficult matters.

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