International Parental Child Abduction

The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the civil aspects of international child abduction (the 1980 Hague Convention) and the Hague Convention (1996) on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition, enforcement and cooperation in respect of parental responsibility and measures for the protection of children continue to apply in cases where the EU Regulation does not.

The EU Regulation prevails over the Convention in relation to those aspects covered by the Regulation. The Convention and the Regulation are generally similar in scope and in rules.

The European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions Concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children (the Luxembourg Convention) was signed in 1980 and applies to a number of European countries. It is now of limited relevance because the EU Regulation or the Hague Convention covers the relevant countries.

Both the Hague and Luxembourg Conventions deal with children under the age of 16 and provide that the paramountcy principle applies – that means the welfare of the child is of paramount importance.