A (A Child) [2013] UKSC 60

The Court considered a complex UK-Pakistan case concerning the habitual residence of a child born in Pakistan to a Mother held there under duress. The child’s three older siblings having been born in the UK had been found to be habitual resident in this jurisdiction notwithstanding the time spent in Pakistan however the child born there had not been found to acquire habitual residence in this jurisdiction. The Mother’s appeal was unanimously granted on the basis that the court had the jurisdiction to make orders making the child a ward of court based on his British Nationality. However as this jurisdiction was an exceptional one to be used sparingly the matter was remitted to Parker J to consider as a matter of urgency whether it would be appropriate in this case. It was also held that if the court declined to exercise jurisdiction on the basis of nationality the Mother had liberty to make a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union on the issue of habitual residence.