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Re A and S (Children) [2021] EWHC 2492 (Fam)

20th September 2021

Judgment: The 15-year-old daughter applied for the release of her own Russian and Greek passports, currently held by the mother's solicitors pursuant to a previous order, so that she could travel for about three weeks with her maternal grandmother to Barnaul in Russia. The father opposed the application. In Holman J's view, the risk of non-return was a low one. The daughter was old enough and mature enough to understand the gravity of a solemn promise given to a judge and to her father, and the gravity of breaking it. Formal undertakings would be given by both the mother and the grandmother which would carry sanctions if broken. The mother's passport would be lodged, together with that of the daughter's sibling, so that if the daughter did not return from Russia, there would be no question of the mother and sibling travelling there to join her. The risk was far outweighed by the benefits to her of the proposed trip and her own strong wish to travel there. The trip would therefore be permitted and the daughter's passports released.