Facebook pixel

KJ Smith Represents in the Landmark judgement of B v. C (No. 2) (1996 Hague Convention Art. 22)

Published: 25th April 2024

KJ Smith Represents in the Landmark judgement of B v. C (No. 2) (1996 Hague Convention Art. 22)

KJ Smith Solicitors is proud to share that we acted in this landmark ruling for the mother (M) on 19 October 2023, in her application to terminate the parental responsibility of the father (F) of a child born in Spain.

The father fraudulently used a name from a stolen passport of a third party and is currently serving a 23-year sentence of imprisonment for child sexual offenses. The person named on the birth certificate (the owner of the stolen passport) was given notice of these proceedings, but he did not attend.

It had to be established in the first instance who holds parental responsibility for the child—the father or the third person—and thereafter how to remove it.

The Secretary of State of Justice intervened in this case as our client’s position was to change the law allowing termination of permanent residency acquired abroad. It is important to note that Article 16(3) of the Convention states that parental responsibility, which exists under the law of the State of the child’s habitual residence, subsists after a change of that habitual residence to another State.

This means that initially, when the child was born, his habitual residence was in Spain, and thereafter, parental responsibility travelled when the child moved to the UK and his habitual residence changed.

Throughout the proceedings, we were proud to represent the mother in this case.We advocated tirelessly on the mother’s behalf, emphasising the importance of maintaining stability and continuity in the child’s life while upholding the child’s fundamental rights. We did not achieve a decision to change the law in this case; unfortunately, however, we did succeed with a remedy for our client under Article 22 of the 1996 Hague Convention.

Article 22 enables the refusal of the law made in other jurisdictions of a Hague Convention country to be applied in the UK. Therefore, despite the third person still having permanent residency in Spain and other countries, he does not have permanent residency for the child by UK law. Article 22 is granted only when the law of the other country would be “manifestly contrary to public policy, taking into account the best interests of the child”.

Extensive research and preparation went into addressing the legal complexities of this case and highlighted the significance of international cooperation and adherence to established legal frameworks in resolving complex parental responsibility cases.

As legal representatives, we remain dedicated to advocating for the rights of parents and children in matters of international family law, and we commend the court’s decision in prioritising the interests of the child in B v. C (No. 2) (1996 Hague Convention Art. 22).

Read the full judgement here.

“This case has been incredibly interesting, with the right amount of challenge it allowed me to develop my knowledge in this specific area of family law. I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to work on this case with the rest of the legal team and being rewarded with the amazing outcome for our client."

- Eva Artemis

Our Office Locations

All our offices are easily accessible by road, rail or bus and we are open Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:30pm.

Not sure which office is closest to you? Try our Office Finder.

If you would like to visit our team of family solicitors, we have offices in Henley-on-Thames (Head Office) Reading, Reading (Central), Basingstoke, Guildford, Beaconsfield, Ascot, Newbury & Winchester, St Albans, and Southampton. We serve a wide range of other areas including Abingdon, Bracknell, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, High Wycombe and Wokingham.

Why not contact our team of divorce solicitors for a free initial consultation today? We offer a free initial consultation that can take place in any one of our offices or over the telephone.

Client Testimonials

We are proud to have represented many excellent clients. Below are some comments our clients have made about us.

Join Our Team

Join Our Team

We are always looking for exceptional people to join our team.

Whether you are considering a move now or at some point in the future, we would love to hear from you and learn more about your career goals and motivations.

At K J Smith we pride ourselves on our commitment to offering support, guidance and career development across all roles. You will receive a competitive salary along with a comprehensive range of benefits.

Find Out More

Kulbir Rahi

Kulbir Rahi

Partner at our Ascot office

"I joined K J Smith with an open mind and with the expectation of developing and adding diversity and challenge to my career, having spent 23 years in a comfortable position with a traditional high street practice.

I can honestly say that K J Smith have exceeded my expectations. Since joining, I have felt supported and encouraged by the firm’s continued commitment to growth and improvement. The company allow staff at all levels to have a voice and recognise the importance of investment in their employees at every level."

Read other staff testimonials here.

Free Consultation

Free Initial Consultation

To find out how we can help you, please contact us for a free initial consultation. Call or email, we will be happy to speak to you about your options and how we can help.