Child Kidnapping cases

There was considerable coverage recently of the two young boys who were wrongfully removed from New York to Ireland by their mother. The High Court decided that the children should stay in Ireland and on Thursday last, the Supreme Court agreed with this. The general rule in child kidnapping cases is that the children should be returned to their place of habitual residence if they have been wrongfully removed. In this case, the judge said that because the children, aged 9 and 7, did not want to return to their country of habitual residence then the court should listen to the children. I absolutely accept that the children’s views should have been taken into account but this sets an extremely dangerous precedent. I do not understand why the New York Court could not have made this decision. It rewards the mother for effectively breaking the law in this case. She had no links to Ireland as she is a Latvian citizen and only had her sister living here. The father is now in New York and although the circumstances of this case, as reported in newspapers, do not reflect well on him, these children are now unlikely ever to have a relationship with their father.
I really believe this is a dangerous precedent for Ireland to set. This is a case that will now be used in other jurisdictions to justify this type of kidnapping.


Kevin Brophy
25.10.11
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