European court asked to clarify whether time to appeal order removing children from State can be extended

By: Ciaran Joyce BL

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Court of Appeal refers question to the Court of Justice of the European Union concerning whether there is a jurisdiction to extend time for parents who were out of time by two days to lodge an appeal in an Irish court against an order returning children to the UK, and whether such an order removing children from the jurisdiction made before being served on the parents constituted an breach of European Regulations, the court finding that the scope and operation of Brussels II bis Regulation was in need of clarification.

Social services – child abduction – scope and operation of Council Regulation No. 2201/2013 – Brussels II bis Regulation – interim care orders which had been made in the United Kingdom prior to the arrival of the children in this State – whether to have the return order to Hampshire County Council recognised in Ireland by means of an application to the High Court – parents out of time by two days to lodge appeal in Irish Court – Article 33(5) of Brussels II bis Regulation – whether the High Court had jurisdiction to extend time for the purposes of appeal – reporting restrictions – s. 45(1) of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961 – recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments pursuant to Chapter III of the Brussels II bis Regulation – whether the order of the English High Court comes within the scope of the Brussels II bis Regulation – whether the English High Court order so far as it concerned the return of the children via the Chapter III procedure amounts to a wrongful circumvention of Article 11 of the Regulation and, by extension, of the entire Hague system – whether the procedure adopted by Hampshire County Council had the effect of compromising the procedural rights of the parents – Order 42A of the Rules of the Superior Courts, as inserted by the Rules of the Superior Courts (Jurisdiction, Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments) 2016 (S.I. No. 9 of 2016) – delays on the part of the parents –whether there is a jurisdiction to extend purposes of Article 33(5) – questions referred to CJEU.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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