Transfer of Jurisdiction and the Best Interests of the Child

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ARTICLE 8 of the Brussels IIa Regulation sets out the general rule regarding jurisdiction in intra-EU parental responsibility cases, namely that jurisdiction lies with the courts of the Member State of the habitual residence of the child. However, exceptionally, the court that has been seised of a case pursuant to Article 8 may not be the best placed to hear the case. To cater for such situations, the Regulation contains an innovative rule according to which a court that is seised of a case, and has jurisdiction on the substance, can transfer the case to a court of another Member State, if the latter is “better placed” to hear the case, and if the transfer is in the best interests of the child. Additionally, the transfer is subject to the condition that there is a “particular connection” between the child and the other Member State (e.g. the child is a national of that Member State). The “transfer of jurisdiction” rule, which is embodied in Article 15 of the Regulation, is at the heart of the Supreme Court decision in Re N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction) (AIRE Centre and others intervening) [2016] UKSC 15; [2016] 2 W.L.R. 1103.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-474
Number of pages3
JournalCambridge Law Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2016


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