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CJEU Joined Cases C-325/18 PPU and C-375/18 PPU / Opinion

Hampshire County Council v C.E. and N.E.

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Advocate General
Type:
Opinion
Decision date:
07/08/2018

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Urgent preliminary ruling procedure — Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of decisions in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility — International child abduction — Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 — Article 11 — Application for return — Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 — Application for a declaration of enforceability — Appeal — Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Article 47 — Right to an effective remedy — Time limit for bringing the appeal — Order authorising enforcement — Enforcement prior to service of the order

Outcome of the case:

165 Having regard to the foregoing considerations, I propose that the Court answer the questions referred by the Court of Appeal, Ireland in Case C‑325/18 PPU as follows:

  1. Where it is alleged that children have been wrongfully taken from the Member State of their habitual residence to another Member State, a judgment directing the return of those children delivered by a court of the Member State of origin outside the procedure laid down in Article 11 of Regulation No 2201/2003 and independently of a judgment relating to parental responsibility cannot be enforced in accordance with the provisions of Chapter III of that regulation. However, in such circumstances, a judgment relating to parental responsibility delivered by a court of the Member State of origin which entails the return of the child to that Member State may be enforced in accordance with those provisions.
  2. In a case concerning the enforcement provisions of Regulation No 2201/2003, the court seised has, by virtue of the principle of the procedural autonomy of the Member States, jurisdiction to extend the time for lodging an appeal prescribed in Article 33(5) of that regulation. It is for the court concerned to assess, on the basis of all the evidence before it and taking account of the principles of equivalence and effectiveness, whether such an extension must be granted. When carrying out that assessment, that court may, in particular, take account of the fact that enforcement of the judgment authorising enforcement before that judgment was served on the defendant to enforcement constituted an unjustified breach of that defendant’s right to an effective remedy enshrined in Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

166. In addition, I propose that the Court should answer the question referred by the Court of Appeal, Ireland in Case C‑375/18 PPU as follows:

European Union law, in particular the provisions of Regulation No 2201/2003, does not preclude a court of a Member State from granting against a public body of another Member State which is a party to proceedings before that court an injunction (protective measure) prohibiting that body from commencing or continuing proceedings for the adoption of children before the courts of that other Member State.