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The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, Revised 1997

image of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, Revised 1997
In 1981 the Commonwealth Secretariat published explanatory documentation on The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, prepared by Mr. J M Eekelaar. This appeared in the series of “Accession Kits” for international conventions prepared by the Commonwealth Secretariat, designed to keep Commonwealth Governments, who are not parties to the Conventions with which they deal, fully informed of relevant international developments and to facilitate accession by them should they wish. A number have chosen to do so.



In 1990, in the light of a significant number of countries which had become parties and of case law that had built up, a fully rewritten “accession kit” on this Convention prepared by Professor David McLean was published by the Secretariat.



Over the past seven years, further developments have taken place which justify the revision of the “kit”. This edition has also been prepared for the Secretariat by Professor David McLean who has, for many years, acted as a consultant to the Secretariat on Mutual Legal Assistance matters and in particular on Hague Conventions in that field.

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The Substantive Principles of the Convention

The central tenet of the Hague Convention is that children should be returned to their State of habitual residence if they have been wrongfully removed from that State or wrongfully retained outside it. It is not a Convention for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of foreign custody orders. It seeks to protect children by protecting existing “rights of custody”.

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