Will the COVID-19 pandemic undermine the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention? – Australian Family Lawyer

One of the earliest Australian cases raising the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Hague Abduction Convention1 cases was the appeal case of Walpole & Secretary, Department of Communities and Justice2 (Walpole).

This appeal was heard in open court on 5 March 2020. At that time in Australia we were just starting to think that COVID-19 might affect us too. By the time the judgment was delivered electronically on 25 March 2020, Australia was in full lockdown and taking the whole situation very seriously indeed. A review of the Australian and international case law in 2020 demonstrates a relatively uniform approach to the novel virus and the legal arguments that have emerged as a consequence of it.