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2) International Child Abduction

Summary of the impact

This case study concerns a book by Paul Beaumont and Peter McEleavy that was submitted in RAE 2001: The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction (Oxford University Press, 1999). The book has been cited by leading courts in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and the USA as a leading authority on the interpretation of the Hague Child Abduction Convention 1980. The Convention was concluded in 1980 and as at 26 July 2013 is in force in 90 States. At the time the book was written there were 51 State parties to the Convention. As the only comprehensive monograph in English on the Convention, it seems reasonable to claim that it has assisted in widening its ratification. The Convention is one of the most successful private international law treaties in history and seeks to reduce the suffering caused by the wrongful removal/retention (the legal terms for abduction) of children away from the country of their habitual residence. In particular the book has helped to lead to judicial decisions favouring a wide interpretation of "custody rights" and a late date for "wrongful retention" thereby increasing the number of children covered by the Convention. These children will usually be returned by the authorities in the country to which they have been abducted to the country in which they were habitually resident before the abduction. The book has also helped judges in several countries to arrive at their decisions on the meaning of "settled" under Article 12 of the Convention preventing too many returns of children in cases where a summary return is not possible because the Convention return proceedings were not launched within one year of the abduction.

Submitting Institution

University of Aberdeen

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Research Subject Area(s)

Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Studies In Human Society: Sociology
Law and Legal Studies: Law

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