Anita Guha led Emily Mitchell in the Court of Appeal on behalf of the appellant mother in an appeal against the decision of a High Court Judge to return a child to Australia in 1980 Hague Convention child abduction proceedings. Anita and Emily successfully argued that the first instance judge had erred in law in finding that an Article 13b defence upon the grounds of the grave risk of harm to the child and intolerability were not established. The appeal rested upon a challenge to the approach of the trial judge to their evaluation as to whether the Convention defence was made out. The Court of Appeal agreed that the judges’ evaluation in respect of the expert evidence concerning the impact of a return on the Mother’s mental health was flawed, and accepted the criticisms of the judge’s approach as to the adequacy of protective measures in Australia and the intolerability of separating the subject child from their sibling.

The judgement can be found here, with case reference [2023] EWCA Civ 208, 2023 WL 02246277.


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