International Child Abduction: which court has jurisdiction?
International child abduction generally concerns a child who has been taken by one parent away from the other. That child has been taken – without authorization or against existing agreements – to a foreign country, for example from the Netherlands to the United Arab Emirates. The question that will arise is whether or not the Dutch court is competent.
Court in The Hague
The court in The Hague needed to answer the question, whether or not the Dutch court is competent in a case where the children have been taken to the United Arab Emirates, without authorization or against existing agreements. The United Arab Emirates is not a party of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. Since the United Arab Emirates is not a party, the question whether or not the Dutch court is competent, need to be answered by Dutch law, more specific by the Dutch Civil Code.
Article 3 Dutch Code of Civil Procedure
Based on article 3 sub a of the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure, the Dutch court will have jurisdiction if the applicant is domiciled or habitually resident in the Netherlands. Since the mother of the children (the applicant) lives in the Netherlands, the court considers itself competent and decides that the children have to go back to the Netherlands.
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