The Faculty of Advocates has identified a downside to plans by the European Commission to speed up child abduction court cases.
One of the proposed changes to the Brussels IIa Regulation, the “cornerstone of EU judicial cooperation in cross-border matrimonial matters”, is for a single appeal to be allowed against a court’s judgment for the return of an abducted child.
In Scotland, that would be an appeal to the Inner House of the Court of Session, with no further challenge to the UK Supreme Court.
“The proposal that there should be only one appeal is attractive in promoting expedition, particularly given the current procedures for appeal to the Supreme Court which now slow down second appeals (by requiring an application for permission to appeal…),” said the Faculty in comments on the rewriting of the Regulation.
“But the drawback is that the Supreme Court has been instrumental in elucidating legal principle in a number of cases. If we prevented a second appeal we would lose the capacity to secure an authoritative decision in cases of difficulty, bearing in mind that Supreme Court decisions have an impact on Hague (Convention) cases world-wide.”
The Commission’s plans are outlined at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-16-2359_en.htm