The European Court of Human Rights and the Hague Child Abduction Convention: prioritising return or reflection?

Peter McEleavy (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Over the last four decades the 1980 Hague Convention has provided for the prompt return of children to their State of habitual residence. But now that wrongful removals and retentions are most often carried out by primary carers, the majority of whom will be mothers, the instrument has come under increasing scrutiny, not least from the European Court of Human Rights. This article analyses the Grand Chamber judgments in Neulinger and X v. Latvia and considers how compliance with Article 8 ECHR should be achieved in the application of the Hague Convention; prioritising return or reflection? In so doing it also reflects on whether a summary return mechanism can continue to accord with twenty-first century expectations and norms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-405
Number of pages41
JournalNetherlands International Law Review
Issue number3
Early online date5 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015



  • International child abduction
  • European Convention, Article 8
  • European Court of Human Rights
  • 1980 Hague Convention
  • UNCRC 1989
  • Best interests
  • Neulinger v. Switzerland
  • X v. Latvia

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