Have your say on government e-petitions

Amend the Child Abduction Act to criminalise failure to return a child to UK

Submitted by Tom Toolan on Sunday 11th October 2020

Published on Tuesday 13th October 2020

Current status: Open

Open until: Tuesday 13th April 2021

Current Signatures: 220
(count is updated approximately hourly)

Relevant Departments

Tagged with

British ~ Child ~ failure ~ Government ~ Police ~ The Government ~ UK ~ UK Government

Petition Action

Amend the Child Abduction Act to criminalise failure to return a child to UK

Petition Details

UK Government to close the legal loop-hole known as the “Nicolaou problem”, named after the legal case which found that, if a child is taken abroad legally but then illegally detained there, no criminal offence is committed.

Additional Information

I want the Government to close a 36 year old legal loop-hole, known as the “Nicolaou problem. The “Nicolaou problem” named after the legal case, which found that, if a child is taken abroad legally but then illegally detained there, no criminal offence is committed.
This means no arrest warrant can be issued by the British police, no extradition can be sought, and that parents are left at the mercy of foreign courts and their officers for help tracking down and recovering their child.


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