EU: Brexit could increase rate of ‘parental abductions’


She explained that some foreign parents want to maximise their chances of being able to return home with the children if things don’t work out

source

BREXIT could cause a spike in the number of parents abducting their children, experts claim.

eu-flagThe uncertainty brought about by the referendum vote has lead to a ‘significant increase’ in the number of parents in unstable relationships seeking advice about their rights to relocate or to prevent the other parent from travelling because they are worried they may not come back with the children, said Cara Nuttall, partner at JMW Solicitors.

“We’ve also seen a rise in disputes about applications for foreign nationality and travel documents for children entitled to dual citizenship in fragile international families.”

She explained that some foreign parents want to maximise their chances of being able to return home with the children if things don’t work out, while British parents want to make it harder for them to do so.

 “The inevitable temptation is to consider taking matters into their own hands, and just go.”
If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to, or from the EU please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

EU: Brexit could lead to rise in parental child abductions, warn legal experts


‘One year on from the referendum, it is clear it is having an impact on family life’

source

eu-referendum

Brexit could lead to a rise in the number of parents abducting their children and taking them overseas, a law firm has claimed.

Lawyers said the firm had already seen a spike in inquiries from parents about disputes over travel plans and applications for dual citizenship, as well as fears their children would not be returned home from overseas visits.

Cara Nuttall, who specialises in matters relating to children, including abductions, said her firm JMW Solicitors, had received 30 per cent more inquiries in the three months to the end of June compared with the same period last year.

“One year on from the referendum, it is clear that Brexit is having an impact on family life where one or both parents is from the EU,” she said.

“We have seen a significant increase over recent weeks in the number of parents in rocky relationships or who are already separated or divorced seeking advice about their rights to relocate, or to stop the other parent from travelling because they are scared they may not come back with the children.

Ms Nuttall, a partner at the Manchester-based firm, added: ”We have also seen a rise in disputes about applications for foreign nationality and travel documents for children entitled to dual citizenship in fragile international families.

“Some foreign parents feel strongly they want to maximise their chances of being able to return home if things don’t work out, while British parents are concerned about them doing exactly that, and want to make it harder for them to take the children should they wish to do so.”

She also warned it expected to see even more of these cases over the summer months.

She said: “It is clear that the uncertainty caused by Brexit has led to discussions in these families about the future, leaving some parents feeling extremely vulnerable when they realise they have diverging views.

“It seems some foreign nationals are not certain they want to remain here in the long term, especially against a backdrop of anti-European feeling. They’re worried that if they don’t go soon, they may end up stuck here if they want to see their children grow up.

“The inevitable temptation is to consider taking matters into their own hands and just go.”

Ms Nuttall said the framework in place to deal with parental abductions in Europe might not stay in place after Brexit.

She said: “We simply do not know what the replacement measures will be, nor how well they will work.”

Criminal law commissioner Professor David Ormerod QC said the laws to prevent child abductions were not “fit for purpose”.

“At least 300 British children a year are unlawfully retained overseas and the problem is growing,” he said.

“Whatever the implications of Brexit, we’d urge Parliament to consider our recommendations to double the maximum sentences for these offences to 14 years’ imprisonment and to close a legal loophole around the wrongful detention of children abroad.”

It comes as multiple reports suggested the UK would maintain free movement for EU citizens for up to four years after Brexit.

Theresa May is ready to offer free movement for two years, according to The Times, while The Guardian quoted a senior cabinet source as saying the period could last for three or even four years.

Philip Hammond was said to be confident he has won support within the Cabinet for a transition to prevent disruption to business caused by a sudden “cliff-edge” move to new arrangements on 29 March 2019, when Britain is set to leave the EU.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to, or from the EU please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

EU: Brexit ‘will lead to rise in child abductions’


Brexit challenge

source

More parents could abduct their children and take them abroad because of Brexit, a law firm has claimed.

Cara Nuttall, a partner at JMW Solicitors, said the firm had already seen a spike in enquiries from parents scared that their children would not be returned home from overseas visits by their co-parent.

There has also been a spike in enquiries about disputes over travel plans and applications for dual citizenship, where one parent is from the EU.

She said the Manchester-based firm had received 30% more enquiries of that nature in the three months to the end of June, compared with the same period last year.

Brexit 'will lead to rise in child abductions'
It’s unclear if the EU’s anti-abduction framework 

‘One year on from the referendum, it’s clear that Brexit is having an impact on family life where one or both parents is from the EU,’ Nuttall said.

‘We have seen a significant increase over recent weeks in the number of parents in rocky relationships, or who are already separated or divorced, seeking advice about their rights to relocate or to stop the other parent from travelling because they are scared they may not come back with the children.

‘We’ve also seen a rise in disputes about applications for foreign nationality and travel documents for children entitled to dual citizenship in fragile international families.

‘Some foreign parents feel strongly they want to maximise their chances of being able to return home if things don’t work out, while British parents are concerned about them doing exactly that, and want to make it harder for them to take the children should they wish to do so.’

Brexit 'will lead to rise in child abductions'
Enquiries are likely to go up as we near the 2019 deadline for leaving the EU (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Nuttall said the firm expected to see even more of these cases over the summer months, and increasingly as we approach the 2019 deadline for leaving the EU.

She continued: ‘It’s clear that the uncertainty caused by Brexit has led to discussions in these families about the future, leaving some parents feeling extremely vulnerable when they realise they have diverging views.

‘It seems some foreign nationals are not certain they want to remain here in the long-term, especially against a backdrop of anti-European feeling.

‘They’re worried that if they don’t go soon, they may end up stuck here if they want to see their children grow up. The inevitable temptation is to consider taking matters into their own hands, and just go.’

There is a framework in place to deal with parental abductions across Europe, but it only applies to the EU. So, after we leave the union, that vital framework may not stay in place.

‘We simply do not know what the replacement measures will be, nor how well they will work,’ Nuttall warned.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to, or from the EU please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

Parental Child Abduction – Are children safe outside the EU umbrella?


July 13, 2016

Source: spearswms.com

Brexit could make it more difficult to return children abducted to an EU country, write Jo Edwards and Jamie Gaw.

With the end of the school year approaching, many families will be making holiday plans. For separated parents this can be a thorny issue. If parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will need to determine the matter.

Child-Abductions-EU

International couples in particular may wonder where proceedings relating to their children should take place. The primary basis for jurisdiction is where the child is habitually resident. There is no definition of habitual residence in the key treaties/regulations which govern international children law, namely the 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, the 1996 Hague Convention on international private children law issues including custody, access and parental responsibility and the EU regulation Brussels II revised.

However, there is case law which provides guidelines on establishing habitual residence. Firstly, the child’s presence must be more than physical; it must reflect integration in a social and family environment. There also must be a certain permanence or regularity to the residence. Another important factor is the age of the child. An infant’s environment will be intertwined with that of her family, whereas cases concerning adolescents will require consideration of their state of mind.

BREXIT

Assuming that a child is habitually resident in England, how will the Court determine an application to take that child abroad on holiday?

Whether the destination country is a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention will have a significant impact on the outcome. If the destination is a signatory, provided that the trip is in the child’s best interests, permission will usually be granted. If the destination is a non-Hague country (e.g. India, Dubai or Thailand) the Court will consider whether the advantages of the trip outweigh the welfare risks.

Whatever the destination, the parent should provide details of the trip, e.g. flight details, addresses and contact numbers. Additionally, if the destination is a non-Hague country, they should consider obtaining an expert’s report citing the risks and recommended safeguards (e.g. a financial bond and/or undertakings).

Now that the UK has voted to leave the EU what impact will this have on international children law?

All EU Countries are signatories of the 1980 Hague Convention. Therefore notwithstanding Brexit, the principle that an abducted child has to be returned to the country she was taken from will still apply.

UK-Child-Abduction

However, Brussels II Revised, which applies only to EU members, strengthens and extends the provisions of the Hague Convention.  In particular Brussels II specifies that an application for a child’s return must be determined within six weeks, save in exceptional circumstances. At present the mean duration of proceedings in England is 88 days; Denmark has achieved 44 days. In contrast, in the US the mean duration is 227 days. The Hague Convention also contains defences to resist a return order, including that the child should not be returned because there is a risk that she will be harmed. In contrast, Brussels II states that providing protective measures are put in place the child should still be returned.

In short, the implications of the referendum result are that it could take longer and be more difficult for a child abducted to an EU country to be returned to the UK, and vice versa post-Brexit.

In terms of custody, access and parental responsibility, all EU countries are signatories of the 1996 Hague Convention. Again Brussels II incorporates the Hague provisions. However, there is now a concern that cooperation and enforcement of private children law orders between the UK and other European countries may be less effective after the UK has left the EU.

Currently the English Court applies the concept of habitual residence in line with the objectives of Brussels II, with its emphasis on the child’s best interests. When the UK becomes fully divorced from the EU it is not clear whether the English Court will solely be guided by Hague Convention and domestic cases. However this may not make a big difference in practice, given the English Court’s own emphasis on a child’s welfare.

Ultimately, only time will tell whether a new treaty will be negotiated between the UK and the EU, perhaps mirroring the terms of Brussels II. Until then the future landscape of international children law will be uncertain.

Jo Edwards is a partner and head of family, and Jamie Gaw is a solicitor at Forsters.

 

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Brexit and Security


June 24, 2016

Source: CNN

Safer in or out of EU? Why security is key to Brexit vote.

BREXIT

UK citizens are poised to vote on a crucial decision about whether to stay or leave the European Union (EU) — but the debate has been stalked by the fear that one big terror attack in the UK before Thursday’s poll could influence the outcome.

So far in the referendum campaign, Britain — although traumatized by the brutal murder of British lawmaker Jo Cox — has fortunately only been  a spectator to the terrorist scourge of radical Islam. In Paris the brutal stabbing of a police officer and his partner (also a policewoman) in their house left their three-year-old son orphaned. Terrible enough, but the knife-wielding attacker also broadcast his actions live.
As Europe awoke to this new level of terror — the potential of mass execution being streamed live — the U.S. was experiencing its own horror with dozens slaughtered in the Orlando club shooting.
The Leave campaign barely missed a beat, warning Brits in a tweet that an Orlando-style massacre could be coming their way if they remain part of the EU. There were complaints of bad taste and the offending tweet was quickly taken down. Hours later it was back.
Security is just one of four main topics of the fractious debate; immigration, sovereignty, and the economy have also been (far richer) battlegrounds for each side.
In the early days the Remain campaign scored on the economy, dubbed by Leave supporters as “lies” and “scare tactics.” The Remain team argued that the UK would be poorer alone, and gained ground. Leave has won big on immigration and to some degree sovereignty.
On security, the logic of each side is often reduced to the simplest argument. For the Leave campaign, controlling immigration reduces the radical Islamist threat, and for Remain supporters the EU is an early warning system — alerting us that terrorists are coming. But it is more complicated than that.
brexit-3-june-23
A month ago I talked with Pauline Neville-Jones, a former security minister in UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s government, and she told me that Europe gives the UK a lot; that it is a security buffer. “We get DNA information about individuals, we get information about car registrations… we get personal data about people,” she said.
For Neville-Jones, and those who have done her job and see the daily threat warnings and security concerns stream across their desks, In is a no-brainer. UK Home Secretary Theresa May, in the past something of a Euro skeptic, has come down on the side of Remain. Every day her top concern is getting the nation back to bed safely without a terror attack.
Many former British intelligence and military chiefs, like ex-MI6 boss Sir John Sawers and former MI5 chief Jonathan Evans, have lined up to agree with Neville-Jones and May.
But not all. Sir Richard Dearlove who once ran MI6 claims that Britain’s open borders policy with the EU is against the country’s interest. Others have made the point that the data sharing would continue, and bilateral interests would prevail over any loss suffered from withdrawing from Europol. Leave campaigners argue that Interpol’s database is larger and more easily accessible than Europol’s.
In recent weeks the London-based counter-terrorism think tank, the Quilliam Foundation,canvased 20 former security chiefs and experts and found there was no clear consensus that put the either Leave or Remain security arguments significantly ahead of the other.
But the security arguments don’t stop at terrorism. David Cameron raised the specter of UK exit potentially leading to a Europe-wide war, invoking this country’s great losses in the past.
david-cameron-Brexit
“The serried rows of white headstones in lovingly-tended Commonwealth war cemeteries stand as silent testament to the price that this country has paid to help restore peace and order in Europe,” he said. Cameron was criticized for using fear tactics.
His point, however, was not lost. The precursor to the EU was set up in the aftermath of two world wars to bind Europe’s nations together and make such war impossible.
Still, arguments like this one, that on the surface should have seem so simple to win, have been wide of the mark and even backfired.
Boris Johnson, the often rambunctious former mayor of London and leading advocate in the Leave camp, has struck his target more often.
“What worries me now is that it’s the European Union’s pretensions to run a foreign policy and a defense policy that risk undermining NATO,” he said. He plays on the fear Britain will lose control, lose sovereignty of its armed forces, and that strikes a deep chord of national pride.
Johnson continued: “If we leave on June 23, we can still provide leadership in so many areas. We can help lead the discussions on security, on counter-terrorism, on foreign and defense policy, as we always have.”
President Obama strongly disagrees. It is the United States that struggled hard to help bring peace to post World War Europe, pushing the former foes to economic union. So it’s no surprise that when he went to London in April this year he stood shoulder to shoulder with Cameron telling the British to vote Remain. As then, America today needs a united Europe, a strong NATO in the face of a resurgent, nationalist Russia.
obama-cameron
But the big picture argument pales next to terrorism for most voters. The threat they can see, radical gunmen and bombers, is far more immediate than the insidious rise of nationalism and the big bear over the horizon.
They may be right to worry. Former spy Aimen Dean spent years burrowed deep inside al Qaeda, leaking its darkest secrets and strategy to Western capitals. That ISIS has a leadership mandated strike surge now, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, is a worry in itself. But in Abu Dhabi last month he said: “They [ISIS] believe in the long run the strategic goal is to break up the body of the European Union that they perceive to be a formidable enemy.”
And ISIS, he told us, understands well the fragility of the debate and the knife edge the vote is on. “A strike against the UK at this particular time is designed to influence the vote. If they can claim afterwards they were a decisive factor in the UK voters deciding to leave the EU and as a result break up the EU then they would claim it.”
The stakes in this debate remain incredibly high. With the vote teetering on a knife edge — potentially, even at this late stage, a victim to the ill winds of terrorism — whoever wins the security debate may well win the overall referendum.

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