International & Private Child Law
The number of children who have significant links with more than one jurisdiction increases constantly as parents move country for business reasons and meet in the course of international travel.
Members of this team have acquired considerable experience and expertise in dealing with cases with an international element. Practice development in the areas of Child Abduction and International & Private Child Law is convened by Janet Bazley QC and Richard Jones.
In the complex field of leave to remove from the jurisdiction, a member of Chambers acted in probably the first case in which the Court of Appeal considered the applicability of ECHR article 8 to the relevant principles: Re A (Permission to Remove Children from Jurisdiction: Human Rights) (2000) 2 FLR. We have also been involved in international adoption work, participating in the important case of Re R (No 1) Inter-Country Adoption) (1999) 1 FLR 1014 and, following on from that, Re R (Inter-Country Adoptions: Practice) (1999) 1 FLR 1042 in which guidelines for the proper conduct of inter-country adoptions were set out in the High Court.
We are live to changes in the relevant law and are currently watching with interest the impact of Brussels II on the jurisdiction of our courts over children in inter-country cases. A member of Chambers has been involved in the preparation of the Bar Council response to the LCD Consultation Paper on ratification of the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Cooperation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children.
Private Child law
There are many and varied applications to be made in this area of child law. An increasing number of children are making applications themselves or are being separately represented in private law proceedings.
Members of the team have been involved in cases across the whole spectrum of possible applications and have acquired a high level of competence. Many of these cases prove to be particularly difficult and intractable, for instance when the parent with care is absolutely opposed to contact to the absent parent or in cases where there are allegations of abuse of the child and the police and social services have 'closed the case'.
We relish new challenges in this area of our practices.