Chicago Journal of International Law

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In the past few years, the number of cases involving international child abduction has risen significantly. But the primary purpose of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is to protect children against wrongful removal or retention by one parent against the will of the other parent. Under the Convention, the relevant courts are charged with determining where the child’s habitual residence is and whether the child should be returned to the left-behind country. However, in making this determination, courts have faced criticism due to the lack of consideration for the child’s best interests, an international principle typically mandated for any action concerning children. This Comment examines past scholarship on reconciling the child’s best interests principle and the Convention before furthering current understandings through the examination of two other international procedures involving children. This Comment offers another solution to the conflict between the child’s best interests principle and the Hague Convention on Child Abduction by drawing from the Hague Adoption Convention and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Guidelines, both of which require a central authority figure to provide a neutral consideration of what is best for the child in the situation.

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