Journal Article

The Hague convention and the flight from domestic violence: how women and children are being returned by coach and four

M Kaye

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 13, issue 2, pages 191-212
Published in print August 1999 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online August 1999 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/13.2.191
The Hague convention and the flight from domestic violence: how women and children are being returned by coach and four

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This paper considers how violence against women and children influences and impacts upon child removals. The article then looks at how courts have interpreted the Hague Convention on Child Abduction in circumstances where there has been such violence. It is suggested that an overriding concern by courts and researchers not to undermine the Convention has led to a lack of recognition of the fact that the circumstances surrounding abductions are inevitably gendered. Certain themes run through the cases which are unrealistic given what we know about violence and its impact upon child removals. These are the depiction of the mother as hostile and manipulative; an unrealistic faith in the ability of the legal system to protect women and children from violence; an underestimation or dismissal of the harm caused to children by experiencing domestic violence; and the irony that now that the presence of violence in relationships is recognized as so common any 'special' consideration to the victims of violence would undermine the Convention. Through these themes the courts are in danger of colluding with the perpetrator of violence.

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Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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