Deirdre Fottrell QC led Marlene Cayoun and Georgina Rushworth of Coram Chambers in the Court of Appeal in the matter of Re J (A Child) (Finland) (Habitual Residence)  EWCA Civ 80 about the Court's jurisdiction under Brussels IIA (Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003). They successfully argued that the procedure of a court's determination as to habitual residence could be both proper and summary, and that this was consistent with recent Supreme Court authorities.
Lady Justice Black in the lead judgment reaffirmed that habitual residence is a factual issue and could be dealt with on submissions. A child, J, had lawfully located with his Mother to Finland following contested leave to remove proceedings and the court was entitled to find, more than four months later, that the child had lost habitual residence in England and Wales. It was not necessary in such circumstances for a court to hear oral evidence on the issue. The case will likely serve as a precedent for procedural elements of jurisdictional contests under Brussels IIA.
Deirdre, Marlene and Georgina acted pro bono and were instructed by Jamie Phillips of Bindmans solicitors who also acted pro bono.
The judgment can be found at: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2017/80.html
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