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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
On 19 March 2021 the Supreme Court handed down judgment in the case of G v G  UKSC 9. Reunite intervened in the appeal and was represented by Kim Lehal of Brethertons solicitors instructing Richard Harrison QC and Jennifer Perrins of 1KBW and Mark Smith of 5 St Andrew’s Hill.
The effect of the Supreme Court’s decision is that where a claim for asylum is made on behalf of a child or where a child is named as a dependent on a parent’s asylum claim, the court cannot implement a return order under the 1980 Hague Convention until the asylum claim has been determined (including any appeal against a refusal of the claim by the Home Secretary).
As the Supreme Court acknowledged, the present timescales for the determination of asylum claims and appeals are incompatible with the duty on the court to resolve and implement decisions under the Hague Convention speedily. However, as a consequence of the concerns raised during the appeal the Secretary of State has proposed to create a specialist Hague asylum teams and to implement an ‘Expedited Process for determining asylum claims with concurrent Hague Convention proceedings’ with a view to deciding straightforward cases within 30 days (as the court noted in its judgment). Reunite welcomes this decision by the Secretary of State and also the further suggestions given by the Court as to how Hague and asylum proceedings might be co-ordinated.
Reunite also agrees with the view expressed by the Supreme Court that in asylum cases with a Hague Convention dimension any appeal or judicial review against an asylum decision should be assigned to a High Court Judge of the Family Division with the objective that such appeals should be resolved expeditiously.
Kim Lehal is a Partner in our family law department. She is on the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) and Reunite panels of recommended lawyers. Kim is also a founding member of the Child Abduction Lawyers Association is currently its membership secretary. To contact Kim for more information about her role in this landmark decision, please phone 01788 557670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.