The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
The aim of this thesis is to analyse the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and to determine how well the instrument has in fact responded to the problem of international child abductions and how it may, if necessary, be improved. The thesis has sought to include all relevant material published in England, Scotland, France and the United States of America up to 1 August 1997, although where possible reference has been made to more recent case law. The thesis commences with a review of the sociological aspects of the phenomenon. The pre-Convention situation is then assessed and attention drawn to the difficulties inherent in resolving international custody disputes. The evolution of the 1980 Convention is sketched with attention being drawn to how the Special Commission adopted the 'summary return mechanism' rather than traditional private international law remedies. Each of the key articles and concepts in the Convention is analysed in turn with detailed consideration given to the relevant case law. Particular attention is paid throughout to the change in profile of the average abductor from a father with access rights to a primary carer mother, and to the effect this has had on the Convention. The conclusion considers whether the summary return mechanism is still the most appropriate way in which to respond to wrongful removals and retentions.