The UK Supreme Court heard oral argument in January 2021 in the case of G. v. G. The minor child’s parents lived near one another in South Africa until February 2020. The minor child identified as lesbian, and the child’s mother claims that she began experiencing persecution in South Africa on this basis. The mother removed the minor child and took her to England, where she made an application for asylum. The child’s father brought a return petition under the Hague Abduction Convention. The child’s return was ordered. The mother appealed to the UK Supreme Court asking:
1. Does a child named as a dependent on a parent’s asylum application have any protection from refoulment?
2. Can a return order be made under the 1980 Hague Convention even where a child has protection from refoulment?
3. Should the High Court be slow to stay an application under the 1980 Convention prior to determination of an application for asylum?
On March 19, 2021, the Supreme Court issued its judgment, which can be found here.
The Court concluded that, while the court seized with the Hague Abduction petition may proceed and even order the child’s return, that return order cannot be implemented until after the child, who is objectively understood as an applicant for asylum, has his or her asylum application concluded, including in-country appeals.