Re S ( A child) ( Childs Objection) : Role of a 15years old child
S objected to returning to Mexico on the basis that she was not receiving a reasonable education in Mexico and that she enjoyed prospects for a superior education in the UK. Consideration was given to art 13 of the Convention.
The application would be allowed.
The father had secretly facilitated the removal of S from Mexico and the care of her mother, and had retained S in the UK. He had done so without the mother’s consent and in breach of the mother’s rights of custody. Accordingly, there had been such a wrongful removal or retention that obliged the order of S’s return forthwith unless an exception contained in art 13 of the Convention applied. The only potential exception was that S objected to returning. There was no doubt that, at 15 years old, S was of an age at which it would be appropriate to take account of her views. However, S’s ability to engage constructively in and benefit from education in the UK would be materially compromised if she were not able to live in, and rely on, a settled and secure home. Although she had spoken in less than favourable terms about life in Mexico with her mother, that life appeared, on the evidence, to be more settled than that in the UK. Accordingly, while taking account of S’s views, the relevant considerations pointed clearly to S returning to Mexico (see -, , ,  of the judgment).
M (children) (abduction), Re  1 All ER 1157 followed; R (a child) (abduction: child’s objections to return), Re; De L v H  All ER (D) 235 (Dec) applied; K (Abduction: Case Management), Re  1 FLR 1268 applied.