Sonderup v Tondelli and Another 2001 (1) SA 1171 (CC)

Main Issue: Abduction or applicability of the Hague Convention and whether child should be returned to British Columbia/ if provision of Convention is in conflict with article 28 of Constitution.

Findings: The provisions of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction requiring mandatory return of a child removed or retained in breach of custody rights were held (per Goldstone J) to apply in this matter. Although the court assumed in favour of the applicant that the convention could, in certain circumstances, be in conflict with the constitutional injunction in s 28(2) that a child’s best interests are of paramount importance in all matters, such conflict would be justified under s 36. The court thus ordered that the child be returned to British Columbia. Certain conditions were imposed on by the Court who further promoted the interest of the child.

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