Supreme Court of Canada on International Child Abduction
Written by Stephen G.A. Pitel, Faculty of Law, Western University
The Supreme Court of Canada has released its decision in F v N, 2022 SCC 51 (available here) and the decision offers some important observations about the law on international child abduction. The court held 5-4 that two young children taken by their mother from UAE to Ontario are to be returned to their father in UAE.
The father and mother were engaged in a dispute over custody rights of the children. The court noted that in the removal/return context, it was not deciding the custody issue but rather deciding which court – Ontario or UAE – would decide that issue [para 1]. Because UAE is not a party to the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the issue of whether the children should be returned to UAE arose under Ontario legislation (Children’s Law Reform Act, RSO 1990, c C.12), though the court noted similarities between the two regimes [para 52].