Procedural advice on the right level of judge to deal with risk of abduction cases
In brief: A father’s (“F”) successful application to allow him to take the child to his home country on holiday to see his paternal family. M had opposed the application on the grounds that there was a risk of abduction and that there was a huge security presence around the paternal family home which put the child’s welfare at risk.
The judge emphasised that the F’s application should never have been allocated to a district judge, let alone a deputy district judge. It should instead have been referred to the DFJ, who would have directed that it be heard at High Court level, perhaps by a circuit judge sitting as a deputy.