Return travel and Covid-19 as a grave risk of harm in Hague Child Abduction Convention cases

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O'Callaghan, Elaine
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Taylor & Francis
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Since February, 2020, courts have been faced with many novel arguments concerning the Covid-19 pandemic in return proceedings under the “grave risk exception” provided in Article 13(1)(b) of the 1980 Hague Convention. This article presents an analysis of judgments delivered by courts internationally which concern arguments regarding the safety of international travel in return proceedings during the Covid-19 pandemic. While courts have largely taken a restrictive approach, important clarity has been provided regarding the risk of contracting Covid-19 as against the grave risk of harm, as well as other factors such as ensuring a prompt return despite practical impediments raised by Covid-19 and about quarantine requirements in the context of return orders. Given that the pandemic is ongoing, it is important to reflect on this case law and anticipate possible future issues
Child abduction , Hague Convention , Grave risk of harm , Intolerable situation , Return travel , Courts , Covid-19 , Coronavirus , Pandemic , Safety of international travel
O'Callaghan, E. (2021) 'Return travel and Covid-19 as a grave risk of harm in Hague Child Abduction Convention cases', Journal of Private International Law, 17 (3), pp. 687-600. doi: 10.1080/17441048.2021.1971838