International Family Law

Harcourt Chambers has been at the forefront of international family law and practice for over twenty years.

Chambers’ dedicated international family law specialists appear in many of the leading cases in the CJEU, the European Court of Human Rights, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court, and in the courts of overseas jurisdictions. Members also regularly act in cases receiving significant amounts of press attention, such as the abduction proceedings concerning Madonna and Guy Ritchie, the dispute over whether the child Ashya King could receive specialised medical treatment in the Czech Republic, or the question of whether a terminally ill fourteen year old could be cryogenically frozen on her death and transported to the USA.


Our barristers regularly appear and advise in all areas of family and court of protection law with an international dimension. In addition to our specialist expertise in child abduction, international relocation cases, and child protection cases with an international element (see our separate pages on those topics), we have leading specialists in the following areas:


  •  the unlawful trans-national movement of vulnerable adults;
  • jurisdictional disputes on divorce;
  • forced marriage, stranded spouse, and the validity of international marriage cases;
  • FGM cases;
  • international child maintenance;
  • international movement of very sick children and adults in the context of medical treatment;
  • reciprocal enforcement of orders; and
  • proceedings in this jurisdiction to assist in family proceedings in overseas jurisdictions.


The international team includes barristers at all levels of call, many recognised as leading experts in their fields. Members of our international team sit on the International Family Law Committee (Chair: Moylan LJ) and are unrivalled in having either authored, co-authored, contributed to, or edited, more leading practitioner works concerning international family law than perhaps any other chambers, in particular:



Our barristers also provide training to judges at the Judicial College in several international family law areas, including lectures on jurisdictional disputes and international relocation cases.




2018 - 2019


Supreme Court: 


  • Re NY (A Child) [2019] UKSC 49 - inherent jurisdiction and child abduction (Rob George)


Court of Appeal 


  • Re S (A Child) (Hague Convention 1980: Return to Third State) [2019]  EWCA 352 (Edward Devereux QC and Mehvish Chaudhry)
  • Re S (A Child) [2018] EWCA Civ 1453 - Hague Convention appeal (Edward Bennett)
  • Re W (Return Order: Power to Set Aside) [2018] EWCA Civ 1904 (Edward Devereux QC and Jason Green) 


High Court


  • Re F (Abduction: Sexual Abuse: Summary Return) [2019] EWHC, forthcoming (Rob George)
  • L v M (Jurisdiction: Repudiatory Breach) [2019] EWHC 219 (Fam) (Edward Devereux QC)
  • AH v AMH (Summary Return of Child to Sudan) [2018] EWHC 2981 (Fam) (Edward Bennett) 
  • Re G (Declaration of Parentage: Removal of Person Identified as Mother from Birth Certificate) [2018] EWHC 3360 (Fam) - complex child abduction case involving the need for a declaration of parenthood (Rob George)
  • M v F [2018] EWHC 1720 (Fam) - children and stranded spouse in Pakistan (Mehvish Chaudhry) 



2016 – 2017


Court of Justice of the European Union


  • OL v PQ, C-111/17 PPU – international child abduction (Edward Devereux QC)
  • MS v PS C-283/16 – international child maintenance (Edward Bennett)


Supreme Court of the United Kingdom


  • In re J (A Child) (Reunite International Child Abduction Centre and others intervening) [2016] AC 1291  - international child abduction (Edward Devereux QC and Rob George)
  • Re B [2016] AC 60 (Supreme Court) – international child abduction (Mehvish Chaudhry)
  • Re N (Children) [2016] UKSC 16  - international child protection (John Vater QC, Edward Devereux QC, Mehvish Chaudhry and Rob George)


Court of Appeal


  • Re L (Relocation: Second Appeal) [2017] EWCA Civ 2121 - international relocation (Damian Garrido QC and Rob George)
  • Re GP (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 1677 – international child abduction (Nicholas Goodwin QC, Aidan Vine QC and Edward Bennett)
  • Re F (Return Order: Appeal) [2017] 4 WLR 4 – international child abduction (Mehvish Chaudhry)
  • Re H (A Child) (International Abduction: Asylum and Welfare) [2017] 2 FLR 527– international child abduction (Aidan Vine QC and Edward Bennett)
  • Hayatleh v Mofdy [2017] EWCA Civ 70 - validity of a foreign marriage (Nicholas Goodwin QC)
  • Re C-W (A Child) (Contact Overseas: Risk of Non-return) [2017] 4 WLR 51 – overseas holidays (Edward Devereux QC)
  • Re M (Republic Of Ireland) (Child's Objections) (Joinder Of Children As Parties To Appeal) [2016] Fam 1 – international child abduction (Mehvish Chaudhry)
  • Re C (Internal Relocation) [2016] Fam 253 (Damian Garrido QC and Rob George)
  • Re C (Older Children: Relocation)[2016] 2 FLR 1159 – international relocation (Mehvish Chaudhry)


High Court


  • C v G [2017] EWHC 762 (Fam) – international child abduction (Edward Bennett and Rob George)
  • S v S (Relocation) [2017] EWHC 2345 (Fam) – international relocation (Aidan Vine QC, Edward Devereux QC and Rob George)
  • Re D (Children) (Child Abduction: Practice) [2016] 4 WLR 62 – international child abduction (Edward Bennett)
  • Madonna Ciccone v Guy Ritchie [2016] 4 WLR 60 – international child abduction (Edward Devereux QC)
  • Re JS (Disposal of Body)[2016] EWHC 2859 (Fam) – wish of a child to be cryogenically frozen overseas following her death (Frances Judd QC, Stephen Crispin and Rob George)
  • FK v ML (Child's Objections) [2016] EWHC 517 (Fam) – international child abduction (Jason Green and Mehvish Chaudhry)
  • AS v TH (No 2) (Jurisdiction to Make Final Orders) [2016] EWHC 2825 (Fam) – England/Scotland jursdiction (Edward Devereux QC)




  • Lozano v Alvarez 134 S. Ct. 1224 (2014). 
  • P v P (Case no 1 of 2016) – first international relocation case before the courts of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (Edward Bennett)


Harcourt Chambers also has Dr Claire Fenton-Glynn as an Associate Member, whose academic expertise in various international children matters is unrivalled. 


2 Harcourt Buildings
Dx 373 LDE
Tel 0207 353 6961


Churchill House
3 St Aldate's Courtyard,
38 St Aldate's, Oxford
Dx 96453 Oxford 4
Tel 01865 791559


0207 353 6961


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