The substantive issue in the case concerned the application of the scheme provided by the Brussels II Revised Regulation for the recognition and registration for enforcement in one Member State of judgments as to parental responsibility made in another Member State. The mother of the subject child had opposed the recognition and registration for enforcement in England of a custody judgment that had been made in favour of the father in Romania. Mr Justice Peter Jackson, sitting in the High Court, had refused to recognise and register that judgment for enforcement (Re D. (Recognition and Enforcement of Romanian Order)  EWHC 2756 (Fam);  1 F.L.R. 1272) and an appeal by the father against that refusal had been dismissed by the Court of Appeal (In the Matter of D. (A Child) (International Recognition)  EWCA Civ 12). The particular ground for non-recognition that had been upheld by the Court of Appeal was that the relevant judgment of the court in Romania had been made without the subject child having been given an opportunity to be heard, in violation of the fundamental principles of procedure of England and Wales.
The father had then been given permission by the UK Supreme Court to pursue a further appeal to that court. At that point an issue was raised on behalf of the mother as to whether jurisdiction for such a further appeal actually existed. The question was whether the notification given by the UK pursuant to Articles 34 and 68 of the Brussels II Revised Regulation had been effective to make the Court of Appeal the final appellate court in such matter. On 23 May 2016 the Supreme Court conducted a hearing of that Preliminary Issue, in respect of which the Ministry of Justice was also represented.
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At the end of that hearing the father’s appeal to the UK Supreme Court was struck out for want of jurisdiction. The reasoned judgement was subsequently given on 22 June 2016 and can be found (together with video-recordings of the hearing and of the oral summary) here.
The members of 1 King’s Bench Walk who appeared in the proceedings in the Supreme Court were:
Richard Harrison QC, Stephen Jarmain, and Samantha Ridley, for the father, instructed by Wedlake Bell LLP.
James Turner QC, who also acted in the Court of Appeal, for the mother (leading Edward Devereux of Harcourt Chambers), instructed by Osbornes LLP.
Nicholas Anderson, who acted at first instance and in the Court of Appeal, and Katy Chokowry, for the subject child, instructed by Penny Logan of Cafcass Legal.
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