Recent Cases

Barnett v Secretary, Department of Communities and Justice [2023] HCA 7 (15 March 2023) (KIEFEL CJ, GAGELER, GORDON, GLEESON AND JAGOT JJ)


Family law – Children – International child abduction – Where child removed from Ireland to Australia by appellant mother without consent of father – Where father granted declaration of guardianship in Ireland – Where respondent sought orders in Australia for return of child to Ireland under Family Law (Child Abduction Convention) Regulations 1986 (Cth) – Where no transcript or reasons for making Irish declaration provided to Australian courts – Whether bare declaration created issue estoppel preventing mother from submitting father did not have rights of custody under Regulations at date of child’s removal from Ireland.

High Court – Special leave to appeal – Where special leave granted in respect of finding of issue estoppel based on bare declaration by Irish court, absent transcript or reasons for decision – Where transcript belatedly provided to High Court prior to appeal hearing – Where factual foundation for grant of special leave removed – Whether continuation of appeal contrary to interests of administration of justice – Whether special leave should be revoked.

Words and phrases – “bare declaration”, “issue estoppel”, “privity”, “revocation of special leave to appeal”, “rights of custody”, “special leave to appeal”.