Child Abduction and Custody Act

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Child Abduction and Custody Act
CHAPTER 5.03
CHILD ABDUCTION AND CUSTODY ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART 1
PRELIMINARY
SECTION
1. Short title
2. Interpretation
PART 2
INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION
3. Convention to have force of law
4. States party to the Convention
5. Central Authority
6. Judicial Authority
7. Interim powers
8. Reports
9. Proof of documents and evidence
10. Declaration by Court
11. Rules of Court
PART 3
RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF CUSTODY DECISIONS
12. European Convention to have the force of law
13. States party to the Convention
14. Central Authority
15. Recognition of decisions
16. Registration of decisions
17. Variation and revocation of registered decisions
18. Enforcement of decisions
19. Interim powers
20. Reports
21. Proof of documents and evidence
22. Decisions of Montserrat Court
23. Rules of Court

PART 4
SUPPLEMENTARY
24. Termination of existing custody orders, etc.
25. Expenses
SCHEDULE 1: Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
SCHEDULE 2: European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions Concerning Custody of Children



CHAPTER 5.03
CHILD ABDUCTION AND CUSTODY ACT
(Acts 12 of 1997 and 9 of 2011)
AN ACT TO ENABLE MONTSERRAT TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF TWO
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS RELATING RESPECTIVELY TO THE CIVIL
ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION AND TO THE RECOGNITION
AND ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN CUSTODY DECISIONS.
Commencement
[1 March 1999]
PART 1
PRELIMINARY
Short title
1. This Act may be cited as Child Abduction and Custody Act.
Interpretation
2. In this Act “the Convention” means—
(a) in relation to Part II, the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction signed at the Hague on 25 October 1980, as applied in Schedule 1;
(b) in relation to Part III, the European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on the Restoration of Custody of Children signed in Luxembourg on 20 May 1980, as applied in Schedule 2.
PART 2
INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION
Convention to have force of law
3. Subject to the provisions of this Part, the provisions of the Convention shall have the force of law in Montserrat.

States party to the Convention
4. (1) For the purposes of this Act, the States party to the Convention shall be those for the time being specified by an Order of the Governor acting on the advice of Cabinet under this section. (Amended by Act 9 of 2011)
(2) An Order under this section shall specify the date of the coming into force of the Convention as between Montserrat and any country specified in the Order; and, except where the Order otherwise provides, the Convention shall apply as between Montserrat and that country only in relation to wrongful removals or retentions occurring on or after that date.
Central Authority
5. The functions under the Convention of the Central Authority shall be discharged in Montserrat by the Attorney General and any application under the Convention by or on behalf of any person outside of Montserrat may be addressed to the Attorney General.
Judicial Authority
6. The High Court shall have jurisdiction to entertain applications under the Convention.
Interim powers
7. Where an application has been made to a court in Montserrat under the Convention, the court may, at any time before the application is determined, give such interim directions as it thinks fit for the purpose of securing the welfare of the child concerned or of preventing changes in the circumstances relevant to the determination of the application.
Reports
8. Where the Attorney General is requested to provide information relating to a child under Article 7(d) of the Convention he may—
(a) request an appropriate person or body of persons to make a report to him in writing with respect to any matter which appears to him to be relevant;
(b) request any court to which a written report relating to the child has been made to send him a copy of the report,
and such a request shall be duly complied with.
Proof of documents and evidence
9. (1) For the purpose of Article 14 of the Convention a decision or determination of a judicial or administrative authority outside Montserrat may be proved by a duly authenticated copy of the decision or determination and any document purporting to be such a copy shall be deemed to be a true copy unless the contrary is shown.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) a copy is duly authenticated if it bears the seal of the judicial or administrative authority concerned, or is signed by a judge or officer of the authority in question.
(3) For the purpose of Articles 14 and 30 of the Convention any such document as is mentioned in Article 8 of the Convention, or a certified copy of any such document, shall be sufficient evidence of anything stated in it.
Declaration by Court
10. The High Court may, on an application made for the purposes of Article 15 of the Convention by any person appearing to the court to have an interest in the matter, make a declaration that the removal of any child from, or his retention outside Montserrat was wrongful within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention.
Rules of Court
11. (1) The Chief Justice may make rules of court for giving effect to this Part as appears to him to be necessary or expedient.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), rules of court may make provisions—
(a) with respect to the procedure on applications for the return of a child and with respect to the documents and information to be furnished and notices to be given in connection with any such application;
(b) for the giving of notices by or to a court for the purposes of the provisions of Article 16 of the Convention and section 9 and generally as respects proceedings to which those provisions apply;
(c) for enabling a person who wishes to make an application under the Convention in a territory other than Montserrat to obtain from any court in Montserrat an authenticated copy of any decision of that court relating to the child to whom the application is to relate.

PART 3
RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF CUSTODY DECISIONS
European Convention to have the force of law
12. Subject to the provisions of this Part, the provisions of the Convention shall have the force of law in Montserrat.

States party to the Convention
13. (1) For the purposes of this Act the States party to the Convention shall be those for the time being specified by the Governor acting on the advice of Cabinet by Order under this section. (Amended by Act 9 of 2011)
(2) An Order under this section shall specify the date of the coming into force of the Convention as between Montserrat and any country specified in the Order.
Central Authority
14. The functions under the Convention of the Central Authority shall be discharged by the Attorney General and any application made under the Convention by or on behalf of any person outside Montserrat may be addressed to the Attorney General.
Recognition of decisions
15. (1) Articles 7 and 12 of the Convention shall have effect in accordance with this section.
(2) A decision to which either of those Articles applies which was made in a State party to the Convention shall be recognised in Montserrat as if made by a court having jurisdiction to make it in Montserrat but—
(a) the High Court may, on the application of any person appearing to the court to have an interest in the matter, declare on any of the grounds specified in Articles 9 and 10 of the Convention that the decision is not to be recognised in Montserrat; and
(b) the decision shall not be enforceable in Montserrat unless registered in the High Court under section 16.
(3) The references in Article 9(1)(c) of the Convention to the removal of the child are to his improper removal within the meaning of the Convention.
Registration of decisions
16. (1) A person on whom any rights are conferred by a decision relating to custody made by an authority in a State party to the Convention may make an application to the High Court for the registration of the decision in Montserrat.
(2) The Attorney General shall assist in the making of an application under subsection (1) if a request for assistance is made by the person mentioned in subsection (1) or on behalf of that person by the Central Authority of the Contracting State in question.
(3) An application under subsection (1) or a request under subsection (2) shall be treated as a request for enforcement for the purposes of Articles 10 and 13 of the Convention.

(4) The High Court shall refuse to register a decision if—
(a) the court is of the opinion that on any of the grounds specified in Articles 9 and 10 of the Convention the decision should not be recognised in Montserrat;
(b) the court is of the opinion that the decision is not enforceable in the State where it was made and is not a decision to which Article 12 of the Convention applies; or
(c) an application in respect of the child under Part 2 is pending.
(5) In this section “decision relating to custody” has the same meaning as in the Convention.
Variation and revocation of registered decisions
17. (1) Where a decision which has been registered under section 16 is varied or revoked by an authority in the Contracting State in which it was made, the person on whose behalf the application for registration of the decision was made shall notify the court in which the decision is registered of the variation or revocation.
(2) Where a court is notified under subsection (1) of the revocation of a decision, it shall—
(a) cancel the registration; and
(b) notify such persons as may be prescribed by rules of court of the cancellation.
(3) Where a court is notified under subsection (1) of the variation of a decision, it shall—
(a) notify such persons as may be prescribed by rules of court of the variation; and
(b) subject to any conditions which may be so prescribed, vary the registration.
(4) The court in which a decision is registered under section 16 may also, on the application of any person appearing to the court to have an interest in the matter, cancel or vary the registration if it is satisfied that the decision has been revoked or, as the case may be, varied by an authority in the State in which it was made.
Enforcement of decisions
18. Where a decision relating to custody has been registered under section 16, the court in which it is registered shall have the same powers for the purpose of enforcing the decision as if it had been made by that court; and proceedings for or with respect to enforcement may be taken accordingly.

Interim powers
19. Where an application has been made to a court for the registration of a decision under section 16 or for the enforcement of such a decision, the court may, at any time before the application is determined, give such interim directions as it thinks fit for the purpose of securing the welfare of the child concerned or of preventing changes in the circumstances relevant to the determination of the application or, in the case of an application for registration, to the determination of any subsequent application for the enforcement of the decision.
Reports
20. Where the Attorney General is requested to make enquiries about a child under Article 15(1)(b) of the Convention he may—
(a) request the relevant person to make a report to him in writing with respect to any matter relating to the child concerned which appears to him to be relevant;
(b) request any court to which a written report relating to the child has been made to send him a copy of the report;
and any such request shall be duly complied with.
Proof of documents and evidence
21. (1) In any proceedings under this Part the decision of an authority outside Montserrat may be proved by a duly authenticated copy of the decision, and any document purporting to be such a copy shall be deemed to be a true copy unless the contrary is shown.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) a copy is duly authenticated if it bears the seal of the judicial or administrative authority concerned, or is signed by a judge or officer of the authority.
(3) In any proceedings under this Part any such document as is mentioned in Article 13 of the Convention, or a certified copy of any such document, shall be sufficient evidence of anything stated in it.
Decisions of Montserrat court
22. (1) Where a person on whom any rights are conferred by a decision relating to custody made by a court in Montserrat makes an application to the Attorney General under Article 4 of the Convention with a view to securing its recognition or enforcement in a contracting state, the Attorney General may require the court which made the decision to furnish him with all or any of the documents referred to in Article 13 (1)(b),(c) and (d) of the Convention.
(2) Where in any custody proceedings a court in Montserrat makes a decision relating to a child who has been removed from Montserrat, the court may also, on an application made by any person for the purposes of Article 12 of the Convention, declare the removal to have been unlawful if

it is satisfied that the applicant has an interest in the matter and that the child has been taken from or sent or kept out of Montserrat without the consent of the person (or, if more than one, all the persons) having the right to determine the child’s place of residence under the law of Montserrat in which the child was habitually resident.
(3) In this section “decision relating to custody” has the same meaning as in the Convention.
Rules of Court
23. (1) The Chief Justice may make rules of court for giving effect to this Part as appears to him to be necessary or expedient.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), rules of court may make provisions with respect to the procedure on applications to a court under any provision of this part and with respect to the documents and information to be furnished and notices to be given in connection with any such application.
PART 4
SUPPLEMENTARY
Termination of existing custody orders, etc.
24. (1) Where—
(a) an order is made for the return of a child under Part 2; or
(b) a decision with respect to a child (other than a decision mentioned in subsection (2)) is registered under section 16,
any custody order relating to him shall cease to have effect.
(2) The decision excepted by subsection (1)(b) is a decision which is a decision relating to custody within the meaning of section 16 by virtue of being a decision relating to rights of access.
Expenses
25. There shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund—
(a) any expenses incurred by the Attorney General by virtue of this Act; and
(b) any increase attributable to this Act in the sums so payable under any other Act.
__________


SCHEDULE 1
CONVENTION ON THE CIVIL ASPECTS OF
INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION
CHAPTER I
SCOPE OF THE CONVENTION
Article 3
The removal or the retention of a child is to be considered wrongful where—
(a) it is in breach of rights of custody attributed to a person, an institution or any other body, either jointly or alone, under the law of the State in
which the child was habitually resident immediately before the
removal or retention; and
(b) at the time of removal or retention those rights were actually exercised, either jointly or alone, or would have been so exercised but
for the removal or retention.
The rights of custody mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) above may arise in particular by operation of law or by reason of a judicial or administrative decision, or by reason of
an agreement having legal effect under the law of that State.
Article 4
The Convention shall apply to any child who was habitually resident in a Contracting
State immediately before any breach of custody or access rights. The Convention shall
cease to apply when the child attains the age of sixteen years.
Article 5
For the purposes of this Convention—
(a) “rights of custody” shall include rights relating to the care of the person of the child and, in particular, the right to determine the child’s
place of residence;
(b) “rights of access” shall include the right to take a child for a limited period of time to a place other than the child’s habitual residence.


CHAPTER II
CENTRAL AUTHORITIES
Article 7
Central Authorities shall co-operate with each other and promote co-operation
amongst the competent authorities in their respective State to secure the prompt return
of children and to achieve the other objects of this Convention.
In particular, either directly or through any intermediary, they shall take all
appropriate measures—
(a) to discover the whereabouts of a child who has been wrongfully removed or retained;
(b) to prevent further harm to the child or prejudice to interested parties by taking or causing to be taken provisional measures;
(c) to secure the voluntary return of the child or to bring about an amicable resolution of the issues;
(d) to exchange, where desirable, information relating to the social background of the child;
(e) to provide information of a general character as to the law of their State in connection with the application of the Convention;
(f) to initiate or facilitate the institution of judicial or administrative proceedings with a view to obtaining the return of the child and, in a
proper case, to make arrangements for organizing or securing the
effective exercise of rights of access;
(g) where the circumstances so require, to provide or facilitate the provision of legal aid and advice, including the participation of legal
counsel and advisers;
(h) to provide such administrative arrangements as may be necessary and appropriate to secure the safe return of the child;
(i) to keep each other informed with respect to the operation of the Convention and, as far as possible, to eliminate any obstacles to its
application.

CHAPTER III
RETURN OF CHILDREN
Article 8
Any person, institution or other body claiming that a child has been removed or
retained in breach of custody rights may apply either to the Central Authority of the
child’s habitual residence or to the Central Authority of any other Contracting State
for assistance in securing the return of the child.
The application shall contain—
(a) information concerning the identity of the applicant, of the child and of the person alleged to have removed or retained the child;
(b) where available, the date of birth of the child;
(c) the grounds on which the applicant’s claim for return of the child is based;
(d) all available information relating to the whereabouts of the child and the identity of the person with whom the child is presumed to be.
The application may be accompanied or supplemented by—
(e) an authenticated copy of any relevant decision or agreement;
(f) a certificate or an affidavit emanating from a Central Authority, or other competent authority of the State of the child’s habitual
residence, or from a qualified person, concerning the relevant law of
that State;
(g) any other relevant document.
Article 9
If the Central Authority which receives an application referred to in Article 8 has
reason to believe that the child is in another Contracting State, it shall directly and
without delay transmit the application to the Central Authority of that Contracting
State and inform the requesting Central Authority, or the applicant, as the case may
be.
Article 10
The Central Authority of the State where the child is shall take or cause to be taken all
appropriate measures in order to obtain the voluntary return of the child.
Article 11
The judicial or administrative authorities of Contracting States shall act expeditiously
in proceedings for the return of children.
If the judicial or administrative authority concerned has not reached a decision within six weeks from the date of commencement of the proceedings, the applicant or the
Central Authority of the requested State, on its own initiative or if asked by the
Central Authority of the requesting State, shall have the right to request a statement of

the reasons for the delay. If a reply is received by the Central Authority of the
requested State, that Authority shall transmit the reply to the Central Authority of the
requesting State, or to the applicant, as the case may be.
Article 12
Where a child has been wrongfully removed or retained in terms of Article 3 and, at
the date of the commencement of the proceedings before the judicial or administrative
authority of the Contracting State where the child is, a period of less than one year has
elapsed from the date of the wrongful removal or retention, the authority concerned
shall order the return of the child forthwith.
The judicial or administrative authority, even where the proceedings have been
commenced after the expiration of the period of one year referred to in the preceding
paragraph, shall also order the return of the child, unless it is demonstrated that the
child is now settled in its new environment.
Where the judicial or administrative authority in the requested state has reason to
believe that the child has been taken to another State, it may stay the proceedings or
dismiss the application for the return of the child.
Article 13
Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding Article, the judicial or administrative
authority of the requested State is not bound to order the return of the child if the
person, institution or other body which opposes its return establishes that—
(a) the person, institution or other body having the care of the person of
the child was not actually exercising the custody rights at the time of
removal or retention, or had consented to or subsequently acquiesced
in the removal or retention; or
(b) there is a grave risk that his or her return would expose the child to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an
intolerable situation.
The judicial or administrative authority may also refuse to order the return of the child
if it finds that the child objects to being returned and has attained an age and degree of
maturity at which it is appropriate to take account of its views.
In considering the circumstances referred to in this Article, the judicial and
administrative authorities shall take into account the information relating to the social
background of the child provided by the Central Authority or other competent
authority of the child’s habitual residence.
Article 14
In ascertaining whether there has been wrongful removal or retention within the
meaning of Article 3, the judicial or administrative authorities of the requested State
may take notice directly of the law of, and of judicial or administrative decisions, formally recognised or not in the State of the habitual residence of the child, without
recourse to the specific procedures for the proof of that law or for the recognition of
foreign decisions which would otherwise be applicable.

Article 15
The judicial or administrative authorities of a Contracting State may, prior to the
making of an order for the return of the child, request that the applicant obtain from
the authorities of the State of the habitual residence of the child a decision or other
determination that the removal or retention was wrongful within the meaning of
Article 3 of the Convention, where such a decision or determination may be obtained
in that State. The Central Authorities of the Contracting States shall so far as
practicable assist applicants to obtain such a decision or determination.
Article 16
After receiving notice of a wrongful removal or retention of a child in the sense of
Article 3, the judicial or administrative authorities of the Contracting State to which
the child has been removed or in which it has been retained shall not decide on the
merits of rights of custody until it has been determined that the child is not to be
returned under this Convention or unless an application under this Convention in not
lodged within a reasonable time following receipt of the notice.
Article 17
The sole fact that a decision relating to custody has been given in or is entitled to
recognition in the requested State shall not be a ground for refusing to return a child
under this Convention, but the judicial or administrative authorities of the requested
State may take account of the reasons for that decision in applying this Convention.
Article 18
The provisions of this Chapter do not limit the power of a judicial or administrative
authority to order the return of the child at any time.
Article 19
A decision under this Convention concerning the return of the child shall not be taken
to be a determination on the merits of any custody issue.


CHAPTER IV
RIGHTS OF ACCESS
Article 21
An application to make arrangements for organizing or securing the effective exercise
of rights of access may be presented to the Central Authorities of the Contracting
States in the same way as an application for the return of a child.
The Central Authorities are bound by the obligations of co-operation which are set
forth in Article 7 to promote the peaceful enjoyment of access rights and the
fulfillment of any conditions to which the exercise of those rights may be subject. The Central Authorities shall take steps to remove, as far as possible, all obstacles to the
exercise of such rights. The Central Authorities, either directly or through
intermediaries, may initiate or assist in the institution of proceedings with a view to

organizing or protecting these rights and securing respect for the conditions to which
the exercise of these rights may be subject.


CHAPTER V
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 22
No security, bond or deposit, however described, shall be required to guarantee the
payment of costs and expenses in the judicial or administrative proceedings falling
within the scope of this Convention.
Article 24
Any application, communication or other document sent to the Central Authority of
the requested State shall be in the original language, and shall be accompanied by a
translation into the official language or one of the official languages of the requested
State or, where that is not feasible, a translation into French or English.
Article 26
Each Central Authority shall bear its own costs in applying this Convention.
Central Authorities and other public services of Contracting States shall not impose
any charges in relation to applications submitted under this Convention. In particular,
they may not require any payment from the applicant towards the costs and expenses
of the proceedings or, where applicable, those arising from the participation of legal
counsel or advisers. However, they may require the payment of the expenses incurred
or to be incurred in implementing the return of the child.
However, a Contracting State may, by making a reservation in accordance with Article
42, declare that it shall not be bound to assume any costs referred to in the preceding
paragraph resulting from the participation of legal counsel or advisers or from court
proceedings, except insofar as those costs may be covered by its system of legal aid
and advice.
Upon ordering the return of a child or issuing an order concerning rights of access
under this Convention, the judicial or administrative authorities may, where
appropriate, direct the person who removed or retained the child, or who prevented the
exercise of rights of access, to pay necessary expenses incurred by or on behalf of the
applicant, including travel expenses, any costs incurred or payments made for locating
the child, the costs of legal representation of the applicant, and those of returning the
child.

Article 27
When it is manifest that the requirements of this Convention are not fulfilled or that
the application is otherwise not well founded, a Central Authority is not bound to
accept the application. In that case, the Central Authority shall forthwith inform the
applicant or the Central Authority through which the application was submitted, as the
case may be, of its reasons.
Article 28
A Central Authority may require that the application be accompanied by a written
authorisation empowering it to act on behalf of the applicant, or to designate a
representative so to act.
Article 29
This Convention shall not preclude any person, institution or body who claims that
there has been a breach of custody or access rights within the meaning of Article 3 or
21 from applying directly to the judicial or administrative authorities of a Contracting
State, whether or not under the provisions of this Convention.
Article 30
Any application submitted to the Central Authorities or directly to the judicial or
administrative authorities of a Contracting State in accordance with the terms of this
Convention, together with documents and any other information appended thereto or
provided by a Central Authority, shall be admissible in the courts or administrative
authorities of the Contracting States.
Article 31
In relation to a State which in matters of custody of children has two or more systems
of law applicable in different territorial units—
(a) any reference to habitual residence in that State shall be construed as referring to habitual residence in a territorial unit of that State;
(b) any reference to the law of the State of habitual residence shall be construed as referring to the law of the territorial unit in that State
where the child habitually resides.
Article 32
In relation to a State which in matters of custody of children has two or more systems
of law applicable to different categories of persons, any reference to the law of that
State shall be construed as referring to the legal system specified by the law of that
State.
__________

SCHEDULE 2
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON RECOGNITION AND
ENFORCEMENT OF DECISIONS CONCERNING
CUSTODY OF CHILDREN
Article 1
For the purposes of this Convention:
(a) “child” means a person of any nationality, so long as he is under 16 years of age and has not the right to decide on his own place of
residence under the law of his habitual residence, the law of his
nationality or the internal law of the State addressed;
(b) “authority” means a judicial or administrative authority;
(c) “decision relating to custody” means a decision of an authority in so far as it relates to the care of the person of the child, including the
right to decide on the place of his residence, or to the right of access
to him;
(d) “improper removal” means the removal of a child across an international frontier in breach of a decision relating to his custody
which has been given in a Contracting State and which is enforceable
in such a State; “improper removal” also includes:
(i) the failure to return a child across an international frontier at the
end of a period of the right of access to this child or at the end of
any other temporary stay in a territory other than where the
custody is exercised;
(ii) a removal which is subsequently declared unlawful within the
meaning of Article 12.
Article 4
(1) Any person who has obtained in a Contracting State a decision relating to the
custody of a child and who wishes to have that decision recognised or enforced in
another Contracting State may submit an application for this purpose to the Central
Authority in any Contracting State.
(2) The application shall be accompanied by the documents mentioned in Article
13.
(3) The Central Authority receiving the application, if it is not the Central
Authority in the State addressed, shall send the documents directly and without delay
to that Central Authority.
(4) The Central Authority receiving the application may refuse to intervene where it is manifestly clear that the conditions laid down by this Convention are not satisfied.
(5) The Central Authority receiving the application shall keep the applicant
informed without delay of the progress of his application.

Article 5
(1) The Central Authority in the State addressed shall take or cause to be taken
without delay all steps which it considers to be appropriate, if necessary by instituting
proceedings before its competent authorities, in order:
(a) to discover the whereabouts of the child;
(b) to avoid, in particular by any necessary provisional measures, prejudice to the interests of the child or of the applicant;
(c) to secure the recognition or enforcement of the decision;
(d) to secure the delivery of the child to the applicant where enforcement is granted;
(e) to inform the requesting authority of the measures taken and their results.
(2) Where the Central Authority in the State addressed has reason to believe that
the child is in the territory of another Contracting State it shall send the documents
directly and without delay to the Central Authority of that State.
(3) With the exception of the cost of repatriation, each Contracting State
undertakes not to claim any payment from an applicant in respect of any measures
taken under paragraph (1) of this Article by the Central Authority of that State on the
applicant’s behalf, including the costs of proceedings and, where applicable, the costs
incurred by the assistance of a lawyer.
(4) If recognition or enforcement is refused, and if the Central Authority of the
State addressed considers that it should comply with a request by the applicant to
bring in that State proceedings concerning the substance of the case that authority
shall use its best endeavors to secure the representation of the applicant in the
proceedings under conditions no less favourable than those available to a person who
is resident in and a national of that State and for this purpose it may, in particular,
institute proceedings before its competent authorities.
Article 7
A design relating to custody given in a Contracting State shall be recognised and,
where it is enforceable in the State of origin, made enforceable in every other
Contracting State.
Article 9
(1) [Recognition and enforcement may be refused] if:
(a) in the case of a decision given in the absence of the defendant or his legal representative, the defendant was not duly served with the document which instituted the proceedings or an equivalent document
in sufficient time to enable him to arrange his defence; but such a
failure to effect service cannot constitute a ground for refusing
recognition or enforcement where service was not effected because

the defendant had concealed his whereabouts from the person who
instituted the proceedings in the State of origin;
(b) in the case of a decision given in the absence of the defendant or his legal representative, the competence of the authority giving the
decision was not founded:
(i) on the habitual residence of the defendant; or
(ii) on the last common habitual residence of the child’s parents, at
least one parent being still habitually resident there, or
(iii) on the habitual residence of the child;
(c) the decision is incompatible with a decision relating to custody which
became enforceable in the State addressed before the removal of the
child, unless the child has had his habitual residence in the territory of
the requesting State for one year before his removal.
(3) In no circumstances may the foreign decision be reviewed as to its substance.
Article 10
(1) [Recognition and enforcement may also be refused] on any of the following grounds:
(a) if it is found that the effects of the decision are manifestly incompatible with the fundamental principles of the law relating to
the family and children in the State addressed;
(b) if it is found that by reason of a change in the circumstances including the passage of time but not including a mere change in the residence
of the child after an improper removal, the effects of the original
decision are manifestly no longer in accordance with the welfare of
the child;
(c) if at the time when the proceedings were instituted in the State of origin:
(i) the child was a national of the State addressed or was habitually
resident there and no such connection existed with the State of
origin;
(ii) the child was a national both of the State of origin and of the
State addressed and was habitually resident in the State
addressed;
(d) if the decision is incompatible with a decision given in the State addressed or enforceable in that State after being given in a third
State, pursuant to proceedings begun before the submission of the
request for recognition or enforcement, and if the refusal is in accordance with the welfare of the child.
(2) Proceedings for recognition or enforcement may be adjourned on any of the
following grounds:

(a) if an ordinary form of review of the original decision has been commenced;
(b) if proceedings relating to the custody of the child, commenced before the proceedings in the State of origin were instituted, are pending in
the State addressed;
(c) if another decision concerning the custody of the child is the subject of proceedings for enforcement or of any other proceedings
concerning the recognition of the decision.
Article 11
(1) Decisions on rights of access and provisions of decisions relating to custody
which deal with the rights of access shall be recognised and enforced subject to the
same conditions as other decisions relating to custody.
(2) However, the competent authority of the State addressed may fix the
conditions for the implementation and exercise of the right of access taking into
account, in particular, undertakings given by the parties on this matter.
(3) Where no decision on the right of access has been taken or where recognition
or enforcement of the decision relating to custody is refused, the Central Authority of
the State addressed may apply to its competent authorities for a decision on the right
of access if the person claiming a right of access so requests.
Article 12
Where, at the time of the removal of a child access an international frontier, there is no
enforceable decision given in a Contracting State relating to his custody, the
provisions of this Convention shall apply to any subsequent decision, relating to the
custody of that child and declaring the removal to be unlawful, given in a Contracting
State at the request of any interested person.
Article 13
(1) A request for recognition or enforcement in another Contracting State of a
decision relating to custody shall be accompanied by:
(a) a document authorising the Central Authority of the State addressed to
act on behalf of the applicant or to designate another representative
for that purpose;
(b) a copy of the decision which satisfies the necessary conditions of authenticity;
(c) in the case of a decision given in the absence of the defendant or his legal representative, a document which establishes that the defendant
was duly served with the document which instituted the proceedings
or an equivalent document;

(d) if applicable, any document which establishes that, in accordance with the law of the State of origin, the decision is enforceable;
(e) if possible, a statement indicating the whereabouts or likely whereabouts of the child in the State addressed;
(f) proposals as to how the custody of the child should be restored.
Article 15
(1) Before reaching a decision under paragraph (1)(b) of Article 10, the authority concerned in the State addressed:
(a) shall ascertain the child’s views unless this is impracticable having
regard in particular to his age and understanding; and
(b) may request that any appropriate enquiries be carried out.
(2) The cost of enquiries in any Contracting State shall be met by the authorities of
the State where they carried are out.
Requests for enquiries and the results of enquiries may be sent to the authority
concerned through the central authorities.
Article 26
(1) In relation to a State which has in matters of custody two or more systems of
law of territorial application:
(a) reference to the law of a person’s habitual residence or to the law of a person’s nationality shall be construed as referring to the system of
law determined by the rules in force in that State or, if there are no
such rules, to the system of law with which the person concerned is
most closely connected;
(b) reference to the State of origin or to the State addressed shall be construed as referring, as the case may be, to the territorial unit where
the decision was given or to the territorial unit where recognition or
enforcement of the decision or restoration of custody is requested.
(2) Paragraph (1)(a) of this Article also applies mutatis mutandis to States which have in matters of custody two or more systems of law of personal application.
__________


CHILD ABDUCTION AND CUSTODY ORDER – SECTIONS 4 AND 13
(S.R.O.s 11/1999 and 83/2000)
Commencement
[1 March 1999]
Short title
1. This Order may be cited as the Child Abduction and Custody Order.
States Parties for Part I
2. The States set out in the First Schedule hereto shall be the States parties to the
Convention for the purposes of Part I of the Child Abduction and Custody Act with
effect from March 1, 1999.
Application
3. The provisions of Part I of the Child Abduction and Custody Act shall apply
between Montserrat and a State set out in the Schedule only in relation to wrongful
removals or retentions occurring on or after the date of this Order.
States Parties for Part II
4. The States set out in the Second Schedule hereto shall be the parties to the
Convention for the purposes of Part II of the Child Abduction and Custody Act with
effect from March 1, 1999.
__________


FIRST SCHEDULE

Argentina Iceland
Australia Ireland
Austria Israel
Bahamas Italy
Belgium Luxembourg
Belize Macedonia
Bosnia-Hercegovina Mauritius
Burkina Faso Mexico
Canada Monaco
Alberta Netherlands
British Colombia New Zealand
Manitoba Norway
New Brunswick Panama
Newfoundland Poland
Northwest Territories Portugal
Nova Scotia Romania
Ontario St Kitts and Nevis
Prince Edward Island Slovakia
Quebec Slovenia
Saskatchewan South Africa
Yukon Territory Spain
Chile Sweden
Colombia Switzerland
Croatia Turkemistan
Cyprus Turkey
Czech Republic United Kingdom
Denmark Cayman Islands
Ecuador Falkland Islands
Finland Isle of Man
France USA
Georgia Venezuela
Germany Yugoslavia
Greece Zimbabwe
Honduras
Hong Kong (Hksar)
Hungary
__________

SECOND SCHEDULE

Austria
Belgium
Cyprus
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey
United Kingdom
Cayman Islands
Falkland Islands
Isle of Man
__________