AB (A child)
Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Thorpe & Black LLJ & Sir Stephen Hedley
15 July 2012 EWCA Civ 978
AB is a four-year-old Lithuanian child who was brought to the UK by her mother in 2010. As a result of information received from the Lithuanian authorities, Doncaster MBC obtained an emergency protection order and removed her from her mother's care in May 2011. Lithuania was content for the English courts to decide whether or not AB should be returned to her mother's care, but if not, they wanted the child returned to Lithuania. The High Court gave directions for the matter to be tried on the basis that if the assessment of the mother was negative, the only further decision to be made by the court would be practical arrangements for the child's return to Lithuania; any decisions about placement of the child in that country would be a matter for the Lithuanian authorities.
The Court of Appeal held that this was an incorrect interpretation of Article 56 Council Regulation (EC) 2210/2003. That provision only applied when a decision had been made to place a child in foster or institutional care in another EU country. It...