What defences to child abduction are recognized under the Hague Convention ?By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 30 May, 2022
The main defences are as follows and are found under article 13.They are that there is a grave risk or fear that the child’s return would expose him/her to physical or psychological harm or put him/her in an otherwise impossible situation or that the other parent had consented or later acquiesced in the removal or retention.
Article 13 also states that the court may refuse to order the child to be returned if it finds it objects to this and has reached an age and degree of maturity at which it is appropriate to take account of its views.
In addition, alleged abductors often dispute that the country the child was removed from was the one of habitual residence or that the parent who brought the action consented or later acquiesced to the removal/retention of the child.
Furthermore, under article 12, if over a year has elapsed since the alleged abduction and the start of legal proceedings, the court hearing the case has discretion not to order a return order, if it considers that the minor has settled into the new environment.