Case details

A (Appellant) v R (Respondent) (Guernsey)

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Case ID: JCPC 2017/0064

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of Guernsey

Case summary

Issues
  1. Whether the Court of the Seneschal of Sark is a creature of statute such that it lacks jurisdiction to make interim and final awards of child maintenance.
  2. If the Court of the Seneschal of Sark does have jurisdiction to award child maintenance, whether German Law is the proper law governing a claim for child maintenance.
  3. If the Court of the Seneschal of Sark does have jurisdiction to award child maintenance, whether the laws governing such a claim are inadequately accessible and insufficiently precise to have the quality of law within the meaning of Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Facts

The appellant and respondent are German nationals and are the parents of a minor child ("C") but have never been married to one another. They lived together in Sark at the time of C’s birth in 2009. In February 2012 the respondent moved with C overseas. In May 2012, the relationship between the appellant and the respondent broke down. The appellant tried but failed to reach an agreement with the respondent as to joint care, custody and maintenance of C. In January 2013, the respondent arrived in Sark with C and issued by way of summons an application against the appellant in the Court of the Seneschal of Sark for a maintenance order and a sole care and control order in respect of C pursuant to the Court’s inherent jurisdiction. The questions of (a) maintenance and (b) custody, care and control have become split. The appellant appealed from the Court of the Seneschal of Sark to the Royal Court of Guernsey and subsequently to the Court of Appeal of Guernsey on the question of child maintenance. His appeal having been dismissed by the Court of Appeal of Guernsey, the appellant now appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Parties

Appellant

A

Respondent

R

Application for permission to appeal (with the appeal to follow if permission is granted)

Justices

Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Wilson, Lord Hodge, Lady Black

Hearing start date

15 Jan 2018

Hearing finish date

17 Jan 2018

Watch hearing
15 Jan 2018 Afternoon session
16 Jan 2018 Morning session Afternoon session
17 Jan 2018 Morning session