Research on the effects of child abduction by Professor Marilyn Freeman, Principal Research Fellow at the Westminster Law School, formed part of the UK Supreme Court’s consideration of a child abduction case.

Professor Freeman’s research for the International Centre for Family Law Policy and Practice (ICFLPP) entitled Parental Child abduction: The Long-Term Effects (2014) highlights the potential importance of preserving contact between an abducted child and the left-behind parent.

The research has formed part of the UK Supreme Court’s consideration of article 11 of The Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children, concluded on 19 October 1996 ("the 1996 Convention").

In regards to child abduction case In the matter of J (a child) (2015) UKSC 70, the first case about “the 1996 Convention” to reach the UK Supreme Court for its consideration, Lady Hale, Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, in giving the lead judgment, stated at paragraph 43 that research by Professor Marilyn Freeman for the Centre “has made it clear that contact with the left-behind parent is of crucial importance in preserving the relationship between the child and that parent, as well as in ending the abduction itself in some cases.”

Professor Marilyn Freeman specialises in the field of Family Law. She is a leading child law expert and international child abduction specialist, as well as co-director of the International Centre for Family Law, Policy and Practice (ICFLPP). The ICFLPP is affiliated to the University of Westminster, and works to develop multi-disciplinary cross-jurisdictional approaches to the challenges of international family law and to engage in collaborative research on these issues.

Read the ICFLPP’S Research report on ‘Parental Child Abduction: The Long-term Effects’.

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