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International Child Abduction Kit

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by

John McGuinness Attorney-General's Department, Canberra




International Child Abduction Kit
Not for sale. Free from the Commonwealth Attomey-General's Department

September 1996 440

Contents Page

International Child Abduction

How can I find out if my child has been taken overseas?

How can I stop my child being wrongfully removed from Australia ?

How can I get my child back from overseas?

Abduction to Hague Convention countrie

Which countries are parties to the Hague Convention ? 3 What is the purpose of the Hague Convention ? 4
Do I have the right to apply under the Convention? 4 What are my chances of success and how much will it
cost ? 5 How do I find a lawyer overseas ? 10 What grounds can be raised to prevent return? 10 Should I get
an order from an Australian court ? 11 How do I make an application ? 12 Application form for return of a child
15 Should I have the application translated into another language? 19 Where should I send my application ?
19 What happens after I lodge my application ? 19 How long will it lake to have my child returned? 19 Should
I travel to the Convention country?

Abduction to Non Convention countries




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Abductions to Australia

Access to a Child in Another Country

Application form for access to a child overseas

Financial Assistance For Overseas Legal and Travel Costs

What is the Overseas Custody (Child Removal) Scheme?

What are the grounds for a grant of assistance?

What financial assistance is available?

What are the terms and conditions of assistance?

How do I make an application for financial assistance?

Application form for financial assistance

Further information About Assistance With International Child Abduction

How can I find out if my child has been taken overseas?

Contact the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (Telephone 06 250 6724). The Department may
be able to find out if your child has left Australia by aircraft or ship.

How can I stop my child being wrongfully removed from Australia?

If your child has not been removed from Australia you can take steps to prevent wrongful removal in the
future:

1. If you have a court order, the police can put your child's name on the airport watch list. Contact the
Australian Federal Police in the nearest capital city. If you do not have a court order, contact a solicitor,
community legal centre or legal aid body for advice on obtaining an order.

2. You may be able to prevent the issue of an Australian passport for the child. Contact the Passports Office
(Telephone 13 12 32).

3. You may be able to prevent the issue of a foreign passport for the child by contacting the relevant embassy
in Australia.

How can I get my child back from overseas?

The procedure for obtaining the return of your child from another country depends on which country your child
has been taken to.

Australia is a party to an international treaty on child abduction : the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of
International Child Abduction. The Convention entered into force for Australia on I January 1987. The
Convention is an international treaty under which arrangements are made for the return of children who have
been wrongfully removed from, or retained outside, their country of habitual residence. If your child has been
taken to a country which is a party to the Convention, you can apply for the child's return using the
'Application for the Return of a Child' form in this Kit.

If your child has been taken to a non Convention country, see page 20 of this Kit.

Abduction to Hague Convention Countries




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Which countries are parties to the Hague Child Abduction Convention? The Convention is currently in force in
44 countries: Europe North America South America Africa &Middle East Australasia

Austria Bahamas Argentina Burkina Australia Canada Belize Faso New Zealand Bosnia & St Kitts Chile Israel
Herzegovina andNevis Colombia Mauritius Cyprus USA Ecuador, Zimbabwe Croatia Honduras Denmark
Mexico Finland Panama France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Luxembourg Macedonia (FYR)
Monaco Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Serbia and Montenegro (FYR) Slovenia Spain
Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom. .;

New countries join the Convention every year. To find out if a country has recently joined the Convention
contact the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (Telephone 06 250 6724).

What is the purpose of the Hague Convention ?

The Convention allows you to seek the return of a child to Australia if the child has been taken from Australia
to another Convention country without your agreement. The Convention also applies if the child was taken
temporarily to a Convention country with your consent but has been retained in that country without your
agreement. The Convention ensures that disagreements about custody or access can be resolved by the
courts of the country where the child is habitually resident.

If your child is returned to Australia from another country under the Convention, any dispute as to issues of
parental responsibility must be resolved by the courts in Australia. The court will have to consider what is in
the best interests of the child, and the abducting parent may be successful in obtaining an order permitting the
abducting parent to take the child from Australia to live in another country.

Do I have the right to apply under the Hague Convention?

There are a number of requirements that must be satisfied before a person can make an application for the
return of a child under the Convention. These are:

1. the child must be under 16:

2. the applicant must have had custody rights in relation to the child prior to the removal or retention;

A person has rights of custody within the meaning of the Convention if they have parental responsibility in
relation to a child. Parents do not need to have a court order in order to have parental responsibility for a
child. The Family Law Act 1975 automatically gives most parents in Australia parental responsibility for their
children. A person may still have rights of custody even when a court has made an order giving one parent
day to day responsibility for the care of a child : in this situation most Convention countries will accept that the
other parent has rights of custody as they are still responsible for the long term care welfare and development
of the child.

3. the applicant must have been exercising his or her rights of custody to the child (or would have been
exercising those rights but for the removal or retention);

This is not usually a significant barrier to making an application. In practice a parent who has the right to
determine where his or her child lives, and who has not abandoned that right, will be recognised as a person
who is 'exercising rights of custody' within the meaning of the Convention.

4. the child must have been habitually resident in Australia before the removal or retention;

A child's habitual residence is the same as that of the child's lawful custodian. Thus if a child lives in the same
country as his or her parents, that country is his or her country of habitual residence. A change of habitual
residence requires the acquiescence of both parents.

5. the applicant must not have consented to the removal or retention of the child overseas.

What are my chances of success and how much will it cost ?

The following table shows the numbers of abduction cases under the Hague Convention in recent years.




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Some cases involve more than one child.

                                                                                                July
                   July 1988- July 1989- July 1990- July 1991- July 1992- July 1993- July 1994-
                                                                                                1995-Jun
                   June 1989 June 1990 June 1991 June 1992 June 1993 June 1994 June 1995
                                                                                                1996
 Abductions
                  27          17          28           39         69          49         61         58
 From Australia
The prospects for success depend on the country to which your child has been removed. In a majority of
cases children are returned (either voluntarily by an abductor or following an order by an overseas court) or
the applicant withdraws the application after the parties come to an agreement about future custody or access
arrangements. The following graph shows the results of applications sent from Australia to other countries
from July 1994 to June 1996.

Abductions From Australia




The following is a summary of the position with respect to costs and other factors affecting prospects of
success in obtaining the return of children from the Convention countries to which Australian children are
most often removed :

Canada : Canadian central authorities have effective means of locating abducted children.

Canadian central authorities will require you to complete an application for legal aid. If you qualify for legal aid,
they will find and pay a competent lawyer to act on your behalf if you need an order from a Canadian court for
the return of your child. (If you need a Canadian legal aid application form, contact the Attorney-General's
Department Telephone 06 250 6724). The Canadian central authorities will not pay airfares for the return of
your child. If you are refused legal aid or cannot pay airfares, you may be entitled to financial assistance from
the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit).

Children are returned from Canada under the Convention on average within eight to twelve weeks. Three of
the five applications sent to Canada from Australia since June 1994 have resulted in the return of children. In
one case an application was withdrawn and in one case an application was rejected.

Chile: Chile only recently became a party to the Hague Convention. To date none of the three applications
sent to Chile from Australia has resulted in the return of children and there have been considerable delays in
having cases heard by the courts in Chile.

Chile provides legal representation for overseas applicants in court proceedings in Chile. However this
representation is ineffective and you should employ your own lawyer in Chile if possible. The Chilean central
authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be
entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this
kit).

Denmark: The Danish central authority does not have effective means of locating abducted children.

The Danish central authority will find and pay a competent lawyer to act on your behalf if you need an order
from a Danish court for the return of your child. The central authority will not pay airfares for the return of your
child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be entitled to financial assistance from the
Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit). In the one case sent from Australia
to Denmark, the Danish authorities have been unable to locate the child.




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France: The French central authority does not have effective means of locating abducted children.

France provides legal representation for overseas applicants in court proceedings in France. However this
representation is often ineffective and you should employ your own lawyer in France if possible. The central
authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be
entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this
kit).

One of the two applications sent to France from Australia since June 1994 has resulted in the return of
children. In the other case litigation is ongoing 16 months after the application was sent to France.

Germany: The German central authority has effective means of locating abducted children.

The German Central Authority will attempt to negotiate voluntary return of your child. If this is unsuccessful, it
will find a lawyer who will represent you in proceedings in the German local or family Courts. The German
Central Authority will require you to pay an up front fee of DM 2000 before proceedings are commenced.
Further fees may be required if the proceedings are lengthy or an appeal is necessary. The central authority
will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be entitled to
financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit).

The German legal system is very slow arid delays of six to twelve months are common with applications sent
to Germany. In addition decisions in recent years indicate a reluctance by German courts to order the return
of children under the Convention. None of the six applications sent to Germany from Australia since June
1994 have resulted in orders for return of children. German courts place particular weight on whether the
overseas applicant had day to day care of the child prior to removal or retention.

Greece: The Greek central authority has limited means of locating abducted children. Greece provides legal
representation for overseas applicants in court proceedings in Greece. However this representation is often
ineffective and you should employ your own lawyer in Greece if possible. The central authority will not pay
airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be entitled to financial
assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit).

Greek courts deal with Hague applications slowly and children are returned on average within four to ten
months. Two of the five applications sent to Greece from Australia since June 1994 have resulted in the return
of children. In two cases the application was withdrawn and in one case the application was rejected.

Israel: The Israeli central authority has limited means of locating abducted children.

Israeli lawyers charge between $2000 to $10000 per case. You can apply to the Israeli central authority for
legal aid but the process of appointing a lawyer may take some time. You should employ your own lawyer in
Israel if possible. The central authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay
airfares or legal fees, you may be entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's
Department (see page 29 of this kit). The one application sent to Israel from Australia since June 1994
resulted in the return of the child after a delay of three months.

Italy: The Italian central authority has limited means of locating abducted children.

Italy provides legal representation for overseas applicants in court proceedings in Italy. However this
representation is often ineffective and you should employ your own lawyer in Italy if possible. The central
authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be
entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this
kit).The one application sent to Italy from Australia since June 1994 resulted in the return of the child after a
delay of three months.

Netherlands: The Netherlands central authority has limited means of locating abducted children.

The Dutch Central Authority will attempt to negotiate voluntary return of your child. If this is unsuccessful, the
Netherlands Ministry of Justice will start court proceedings on your behalf to obtain an order for the return of
the child. The central authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares, you
may be entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29




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of this kit).

The Dutch legal system deals with Hague applications slowly as it emphasises negotiation between the Dutch
Central Authority and abducting parents. Once court proceedings are commenced, a decision can be
expected within four weeks. All four applications sent to Netherlands from Australia since June 1994 have
resulted in the return of children.

New Zealand: The New Zealand central authority has effective means of locating abducted children. The
New Zealand Central Authority will find and pay a competent lawyer to act on your behalf if you need an order
from a New Zealand court for the return of your child. You may have to pay airfares for the return of your child
in some cases. If you cannot pay airfares, you may be entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth
Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit).

The New Zealand courts deal with Hague applications promptly and children are returned on average within
six to eight weeks. Twenty six of the thirty four applications sent to New Zealand from Australia since June
1994 have resulted in the return of children. In seven other cases the applications were withdrawn and in only
one case was an application rejected.

Spain: The Spanish central authority does not have effective means of locating abducted children.

Spain provides legal representation for you in court proceedings in Spain. However this representation is
often ineffective and you should employ your own lawyer in Spain if possible. The central authority will not pay
airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be entitled to financial
assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page ? of this kit). One of the two
applications sent to Spain from Australia since June 1994 resulted in the return of children. In one other case
the Spanish authorities have been unable to locate the child.

United Kingdom: The Central Authorities in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have limited
procedures for locating abducted children.

The Central Authorities will find and pay a competent lawyer to act on your behalf if you need an order from a
UK court for the return of your child. The central authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If
you cannot pay airfares, you may be entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-
General's Department (see page 29 of this kit).

United Kingdom courts deal with Hague applications promptly and children are returned on average within
four weeks. Twenty six of the twenty nine applications sent to the United Kingdom from Australia since June
1994 have resulted in the return of children. In one case the application was withdrawn and in only two cases
were the applications rejected.

USA: The US Central Authority has effective procedures for locating abducted children.

The US Central Authority does not provide legal representation and legal aid is generally not available. The
US Central Authority will give you the name of a lawyer to act on your behalf at your expense. US attorneys
charge from $US6000 to $US15000 for each case. The central authority will not pay airfares for the return of
your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be entitled to financial assistance from the
Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit).

Obtaining the return of a child from the US can be a very slow process, particularly if you have difficulty in
meeting the cost of employing an attorney in the USA. Delays of six to twelve months in resolving a case are
common. Only four of the fourteen applications sent to the USA from Australia since June 1994 have resulted
in the return of children. In three cases the application was withdrawn and in other cases the applications are
still pending.

Yugoslavia Although applications are still accepted by government authorities in the Republics of the former
Yugoslav (Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro) their attempts to obtain the
return of children are subject to delays (of over 12 months in some cases) and are generally ineffective. Only
one of the six applications sent to these authorities from Australia since June 1994 has resulted in the return
of children.

For information on other countries, contact the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (06 250 6724).




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How do I find a lawyer overseas?

The Commonwealth Attorney General's Department can usually arrange for Central Authorities in the
overseas Convention country to find a competent lawyer to act on your behalf. In other cases the Department
may be able to arrange for an Australian embassy or overseas post to recommend a lawyer.

What grounds can the abducting parent rely on to prevent return ?

The Convention establishes a number of grounds on which an abducting parent may rely to oppose the return
of a child to Australia. These are:

(a) the child is aged l6 or over;

If the child turns 16 before the application comes before the overseas court, the application will be rejected.

(b) the child has been outside Australia for over 12 months and is settled in its new environment overseas;

If an application is made to an overseas court more than 12 months after a child is removed from or retained
outside Australia, and the child is settled in his or her new environment overseas, the overseas authorities
have a discretion whether to order the return of a child. Settlement means more than mere adjustment to
surrounding circumstances. It involves both a physical element (eg housing, school) and an emotional
element (relatives, friends, activities), of being established in a new environment

(c) the child was not habitually resident in Australia at the time of the removal or retention

see page 4 of this Kit;

(d) the applicant in Australia did not have rights of custody to the child

see page 4 of this Kit;

(e) the applicant in Australia was not exercising rights of custody to the child at the time of the removal or
retention

see page 4 of this Kit;

(f) the applicant gave prior consent to the removal or retention or subsequently acquiesced in the removal or
retention;

In some cases overseas authorities refuse to order the return of a child because the applicant has expressly
or by his conduct given prior consent or subsequently acquiesced in the removal or retention of the child
overseas. Where there is clear or unequivocal consent or acquiescence, the overseas authorities will exercise
a discretion about whether to order the return of the child.

(g) the child would be exposed to a grave risk of physical harm, psychological harm or some other intolerable
situation if returned to Australia;

In some cases overseas authorities refuse to order the return of a child because they accept arguments from
an abducting parent that the child will be at grave risk of physical or psychological harm, or otherwise be
placed in an intolerable situation, on return. These arguments are rarely accepted by authorities in New
Zealand, the United Kingdom or the USA because arrangements can be made by Australian government
authorities for the protection of children and abducting parents on their return to Australia. However authorities
in European countries may accept such arguments more readily.

(h) the child objects to return and is of an age and maturity to justify his or her views being taken into account;

In some cases overseas authorities have accepted the objection of a child as a reason for refusing return.
Children as young as 9 or 10 have been accepted as being able to perceive with objectivity what is in their
best interests. If such a child has valid grounds for objecting to return to Australia (as distinct from a mere
preference to remaining with the abducting parent), the overseas court will exercise a discretion about




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whether to order the return of the child.

(i) the child's return would be a breach of fundamental freedoms and human rights

This ground is recognised in the Hague Convention but in practice is never relied on by overseas authorities
as a ground for refusing return.

Should I get an order from an Australian court ?

If your child has already been removed from Australia, an order from an Australian court will not assist you in
obtaining the child's return from a Convention country. This is because the obligation under the Convention to
return a child operates only if you had rights of custody at the time of removal or retention of the child
overseas. Obtaining an Australian court order after the event will not assist you.

How do I make an application for the return of my child under the Convention? If you wish to make an
application for the return of your child you can :

• make an application using the form in this Kit, or

• see a solicitor to make an application on your behalf,

* contact the Central Authority in your nearest capital city:

Some Central Authorities will assist you to prepare an application. In some States and Territories a legal aid
office or community legal centre may help you prepare an application. However an applicant who chooses to
instruct a private solicitor to prepare a Hague application will not have those legal expenses reimbursed by
the Commonwealth. The following is a list of State and Territory Central Authorities :

Queensland

New South Wales The Director, Department of Family and Community The Director-General Serves
Department of Community Services Children's Court Building Legal Branch,164-174 Liverpool Street 30-40
Quay Street ASHFIELD NSW 2131 BRISBANE QLD 4000 Telephone: (02) 716-2301 Telephone: (07) 3235-
9862

Victoria Tasmania Tbe Director-General, Department of Health and Programme Support Co-ordinator, Child
Family and Community Services Community Support, Department of Community and 555 Collins Street
Health Services, 34 Davey Street MELBOURNE VIC 3000 HOBART TAS 7000 Telephone: (03) 9616-7538
Telephone: (002) 334-719

South Australia Northern Territory South Australian Police Department, Police Program Director, Family and
Community Services, Headquarters, 30 Flinders Street Department of Heallh & Community Services
ADELAIDE SA 5001 GPO Box 40596 Telephone: (08) 207-5452 CASUARINA NT 0810 Telephone: (089)
992-723

Western Australia Australian Capital Territory The Officer in Charge The Director, Child Care and Protection
Court Missing Persons Bureau Services Western Australian Police Service Family Serves Branch, ACT
Housing and 60 Beaufort Street PERTH WA 6000 Community Services Bureau Telephone: (09) 223-3248
Locked Bag 3000 WODEN ACT 2606 Telephone: (06) 207-1540

If you wish to prepare your own application you should use the attached Application for the Return of a Child
form in this Kit. This is a standard form used by most Convention countries.

Some points to take into account in completing the application form are : REQUESTING CENTRAL
AUTHORITY OR APPLICANT: insert your name

Requested Authority: insert the name of the Convention country to which the child has been taken.

Part IV - time, place, date and circumstances of the wrongful removal or retention:




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In this part of the form you should explain the circumstances of the removal or retention. Include information
(if known) on the flight number and time of removal. Did the person who removed or retained the child tell you
in advance that he/she would be removing/retaining the child? Did you have any other advance warning of the
removal or retention ? Did you sign applications for passports or visas for the child ? Has the person who
removed or retained the child contacted you since the date of removal or retention ? Has the person who
removed or retained the child told you anything about his or her future intentions to return ?

Part V- factual or legal grounds justifying the request

As far as possible include information on the following matters (if you wish you can attach a separate
document or affidavit to the application ),

History of relationship : Explain your relationship with the abductor (when it started and ended); if you
separated prior to the removal or retention, briefly describe the circumstances;

Habitual residence: how long was the child living in Australia prior to removal or retention ? how long were the
child's parents living in Australia prior to the child's removal or retention ? Give details of any periods of time
when the child or parents lived outside Australia;

Rights of custody: the Family Law Act 1975 gives most parents in Australia parental responsibility for their
children. Have there been any court orders affecting your rights (eg custody orders, guardianship orders,
access orders, residence orders, contact orders, specific issues orders) ? Was there any agreement between
you and the abductor in relation to these matters ?

Exercising rights of custody: when did you last see the child ? how regularly did you have care of the child in
Australia ? were you carrying out other responsibilities as a parent prior to the removal or retention (eg paying
child support, making decisions about matters affecting the long term care and welfare of the child eg
schooling, religion, medical treatment)?

Settlement in a new environment overseas: if the child was removed or retained more than 12 months ago,
could the person who removed or retained the child now prove that the child has now settled in his or her new
environment ? Consent or acquiescence : did you consent to the permanent removal or retention of the child
overseas? since the removal or retention, have you done or said anything to indicate that you have agreed to
the permanent removal or retention of the child overseas?

Child's objection to return: in your view would the child object to returning to Australia? is the child old enough
and mature enough to justify his or her views being taken into account ?

Harm : is there any ground upon which the removing or retaining parent might argue that the child would be
exposed on return to Australia to physical or psychological harm or otherwise be put in an intolerable
situation ?

Part VI- civil proceedings in progress

Include information on any family law proceedings in progress in Australia. Part VII - child is to be returned to

In most Hague Abduction cases the child is returned to Australia in the custody of the person who removed or
retained the child overseas. However if the child was in your day to day care prior to removal or retention, you
should indicate that the child should be returned to your custody. Indicate whether the person who removed or
retained the child overseas has airline tickets or the funds to pay return airfares for himself/herself and the
child. If that person does not have tickets/funds, indicate whether you have the funds or whether you will be
seeking a grant of financial assistance.

Part VIII - Other Remarks

If you have any reason to suspect that the person who removed or retained the child overseas might
disappear with the child once he or she is aware of your application, you should detail the grounds for your
fears (eg previous threats to go into hiding).

Part IX - list of attached documents




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If your rights of custody depend on a court order or agreement, attach a copy of the order or agreement

Application For the Return of a Child

APPLICATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE HAGUE CONVENTION ON THE CIVIL ASPECTS OF
INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION FOR THE RETURN OF A CHILD WRONGFULLY REMOVED OR
RETAINED FROM AUSTRALIA

Requesting Central Authority or ApplicantL Request Authority:

Concerns the following child: .................... ................... (name) who will attain the age of 16 on. ...... ......... ..
................... (date)

NOTE: The following particulars should be completed insofar as possible. 1 - Identity of the Child and it's
Parents

1 Child

surname and first names ................................................ date and place of birth ................................................
Country of habitual residence before removal or retention. ..................... passport or identity card no., if
any ....................................... description and photo, if possible (see annexes) .............................
..................................................................................................................
..................................................................................................................
..................................................................................................................

2 Parents 2.1 Mother:

surname and first names ......................................... .. ........ date and place of
birth ................................................. nationality....................................................................
occupation .................................................................. country of habitual
residence ............................................ passport or identity card no., if any .......................................

2.2 Father:

surname and first names .......................................... . date and place of birth .................................................
nationality................................................. occupation ................................................. habitual
residence.................................................... passport or identity card No., if any ......................................

2.3 Date and place of marriage............................................

II - Requesting Individual (who actually exercised custody before the removal or retention)

3 surname and first names ................................................ nationality of individual
applicant ........................................ occupation of individual applicant ....................................... address of
individual applicant ............................. ............ ..........................................................................................
passport or identity card no., if any ....................................... relation to the
child ................................................. name and address of legal adviser, if any ..................................
...............................................................................................

III - Place Where the Child is Thought To Be

4.1 Information concerning the person alleged to have removed or retained the child

surname and first names ................................ ............... date and place of birth, if
known ......................................... nationality, if known .................................................
occupation .............................................................. last known address.................................................
................................................................................ passport or identity card No., if
any ....................................... description and photo, if possible (see annexes) .............................
.....................................................................................................




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4.2 Address of the child .................................................

4.3 Other persons who might be able to supply additional information relating to the whereabouts of the child

IV -Time, Place, Date, and Circumstances Of the Wrongful Removal or Retention

V - Factual or Legal Grounds Justifying the
Request ........................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................

VI- Civilproceedings in Progress
........................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................

VII - Child Is To Be Returned to:

surname and first names:. ............................................... date and place of birth:.
................................................ address:...................................................... telephone
number:.................................................... proposed arrangements for the return of the child:. ...........................
.......................................................................................................

VIII - Oother Remarks
........................................................................................................
........................................................................................................

IX - LIlist of Documents Attached * *e.g. - photographs of child and person alleged to have removed
or retained the child; - copy of relevant decision or agreement concerning custody or access; - copy of child's
birth certificate - copy of parents' marriage certificate

I authorise the requested Central Authority and its agents to act on my behalf and to do all things reasonable
and necessary in connection with this application.

Signature of applicant

Date.................................

Place ................................

Should I have the application translated into another language?

There is no need to have your application translated into another language. Many non English speaking
countries accept applications in English. If any country requires a translation, this will be arranged by the
Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (telephone 06 250 6724).

Where should I send my application?

You should send your application to the State or Territory Central Authority in your nearest capital city (see
page 12 of this kit).

What happens after I lodge my application?

Your application will be faxed to the Central Authority in the country where the child is thought to be.
Applicants in Australia will be kept informed of developments by the relevant State or Territory Central
Authority. If you need to obtain a progress report from overseas authorities on your application, contact the
relevant State or Territory Central Authority (see page 12 of this Kit).




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How long will if take to have my child returned?

The length of time before the child is returned varies, depending on the delays in the legal system of the
Convention country and on whether the abducting parent contests the application for return of the children in
court. Hague Convention proceedings are regarded as civil matters and in some countries it may take some
time for any action to be taken. See pages 6 to 10 of this kit.

Should I travel to the Convention country?

In most cases overseas authorities allow a child to be returned to Australia in the company of the parent who
took the child overseas. Thus it should not be necessary for you to travel overseas to collect your child.

The Convention envisages that overseas authorities will make a decision about the return of the child without
the applicant travelling to the Convention country. Thus it is generally not necessary for a parent to travel to
New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the USA to participate in legal proceedings. In other countries you may
be required to attend proceedings in that country to give evidence as a witness. The Commonwealth Attorney
General's Department will advise you if this is necessary. You should ensure that you have a current passport
and valid visa for the relevant country. You should not travel unless this is absolutely necessary because legal
proceedings in other countries often involve lengthy adjournments. Where travel to the Convention country is
required and a parent needs assistance to pay fares and living expenses, the Commonwealth Attorney-
General's Department may provide financial assistance (see page 29 of this kit).

Abduction to Non Convention Countries

If your child has been taken to a country which is not a party to the Hague Convention, you may still be able to
have the child returned to Australia.

In most cases you will have to employ a lawyer in the overseas country to take legal proceedings to recover
your child. The Consular Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Telephone 06 261 3305)
may be able to provide a list of lawyers in that country. Officers in Australian embassies and missions abroad
may also be able to obtain information with respect to the health and safety of the abducted child.

If you cannot pay legal fees, airfares or other costs associated with the recovery of your child you may be
entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this
kit).

Abduction to Australia

If your child was habitually resident in a Convention country and has been wrongfully removed to or retained
in Australia, you may apply for the return of the child to a convention country. You should use the 'Application
for return of a child' form in this kit. Applications should be sent to :

Intentional Civil Procedures Section : Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department Robert Garran Offices
National Circuit BARTON ACT 2600 Telephone: (06) 250 6724 Fax : (06) 250 5939

There is no charge for making an application or for legal expenses. A State or Territory Central Authority will
apply to the Family Court for an order that your child be returned to his or her country of habitual residence.
You will have to pay airfares for the return of the child.

The following table shows the numbers of abduction cases under the Hague Convention received by the
Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department in recent years. Some cases involve more than one child.

                                                                                              July
                 July 1988- July 1989- July 1990- July 1991- July 1992- July 1993- July 1994-
                                                                                              1995-Jun
                 June 1989 June 1990 June 1991 June 1992 June 1993 June 1994 June 1995
                                                                                              1996
 Abductions To
                 28          13          37         37           27          39          42          39
 Australia
In 54% of cases Australian Central Authorities are successful in obtaining orders for return. In 31% of cases
applicants withdraw applications after they come to an agreement with the abducting parent about the future




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exercise of rights of custody or access. In other cases applications are rejected by the Family Court, usually
on the grounds of habitual residence, consent or acquiescence by an applicant or settlement by a child in a
new environment.

Access to a Child in Another Country

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction allows a person in Australia to
apply to government authorities in another Convention country for assistance in securing or organising access
to a child living in that country.

The following is a summary of the position with respect to costs and other factors affecting prospects of
success in obtaining access in the Convention countries in which Australian applications are most often sent :

Canada: Canadian central authorities will require you to complete an application for legal aid. If you qualify for
legal aid, they will find and pay a competent lawyer to act on your behalf if you need an order from a
Canadian court for access. (If you need a Canadian legal aid application form, contact the Attorney-General's
Department Telephone 06 250 6724). The Canadian central authorities will not pay airfares for the return of
your child. If you are refused legal aid or cannot pay airfares, you may be entitled to financial assistance from
the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit). The average time for resolution
of an application is 6 months.

Denmark: A Danish administrative office deals with all applications for access. The central authority will not
pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares, you may be entitled to financial assistance
from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit).

France: The French central authority does not have effective means of locating abducted children.

France provides legal aid to some overseas applicants in court proceedings in France. However this
representation is often ineffective and you should employ your own lawyer in France if possible. The central
authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be
entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this
kit). The average time for resolution of an application is three months.

Germany: The German Central Authority will attempt to negotiate voluntary access. If this is unsuccessful,
it will find a lawyer who will represent you in proceedings in the German local or family Courts. The German
Central Authority will require you to pay an up front fee before proceedings are commenced. Further fees may
be required if the proceedings are lengthy or an appeal is necessary. The central authority will not pay airfares
for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be entitled to financial assistance
from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit). Resolution of applications
take several months.

Greece: Greece provides legal representation for overseas applicants in court proceedings in Greece.
However this representation is often ineffective and you should employ your own lawyer in Greece if possible.
The central authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees,
you may be entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see
page 29 of this kit). Greek courts deal with Hague access applications slowly and resolution may take some
months.

Israel: Israeli lawyers charge between $2000 to $10000 per case. You can apply to the Israeli central
authority for legal aid but the process of appointing a lawyer may take some time. You should employ your
own lawyer in Israel if possible. The central authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you
cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth
Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit). Resolution of cases may take some months.

Italy: Italy provides legal representation for overseas applicants in court proceedings in Italy. However this
representation is often ineffective and you should employ your own lawyer in Italy if possible. The central
authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be
entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this
kit).




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Netherlands: The Dutch Central Authority will attempt to negotiate voluntary access. If this is
unsuccessful, the Netherlands Ministry of Justice will start court proceedings on your behalf. The central
authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares, you may be entitled to
financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit).

New Zealand: The New Zealand Central Authority will find and pay a competent lawyer to act on your
behalf if you need an order from a New Zealand court for access. You may have to pay airfares for the return
of your child in some cases. If you cannot pay airfares, you may be entitled to financial assistance from the
Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit). Resolution of applications may take
some months.

Spain: Spain provides legal representation for you in court proceedings in Spain. However this
representation is often ineffective and you should employ your own lawyer in Spain if possible. The central
authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be
entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this
kit).

United Kingdom: The Central Authorities in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will require you to
apply for legal aid. They will find a lawyer to act on your behalf if you need an order from a UK court for
access. The central authority will not pay airfares for the return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares, you
may be entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29
of this kit). Resolution of an application may take 6 to 12 months.

USA: The US Central Authority does not provide legal representation and legal aid is generally not available.
The US Central Authority will give you the name of a lawyer to act on your behalf at your expense. US
attorneys charge from $US6000 to $US15000 for each case. The central authority will not pay airfares for the
return of your child. If you cannot pay airfares or legal fees, you may be entitled to financial assistance from
the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (see page 29 of this kit). Resolution of an application may
take many months.

Yugoslavia Although applications are still accepted by government authorities in the Republics of the former
Yugoslav (Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro) their attempts to obtain access
are subject to lengthy delays and are generally ineffective.

For information on other Hague Convention countries, contact the Commonwealth Attorney-General's
Department (06 250 6724).

If you wish to seek access to a child living in a country which is not a party to the Hague Convention, you will
have to employ a lawyer in that country to take legal proceedings. The Consular Section of the Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade (Telephone 06 261 3305) may be able to provide a list of lawyers in that country.
Officers in Australian embassies and missions abroad may also be able to obtain information with respect to
the health and safety of the child. If you cannot pay legal fees, airfares or other costs associated with access
to your child in another country, you may be entitled to financial assistance from the Commonwealth Attorney-
General's Department (see page 29 of this kit).

A person who wishes to seek assistance in obtaining access to a child living in a Hague Convention country
can :

• make an application using the form in this Kit, or • see a solicitor to make an application on your behalf: •
contact the Central Authority in your nearest capital city (see page 12 of this kit).

Some State and Territory Central Authorities will prepare an application on your behalf. In some States and
Territories a legal aid office or community legal centre may help you prepare an application. However an
applicant who chooses to instruct a private solicitor to prepare a Hague application will not have those legal
expenses reimbursed by the Commonwealth.

If you wish to prepare your own application you should use the attached 'Application for Assistance in
Organising or Securing Rights of Access' form in this Kit. This is a standard form used by most Convention
countries. Some points to take into account in completing this form are :

Requesting Central Authority or Applicant: insert your name



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Requested Authority: insert the name of the Convention country in which the child is living..

Part IV - circumstances relating to the prevention or exercise of rights of access:

have you attempted to obtain access to the child in the past ? what response was given to your previous
requests for access ? what difficulties have you encountered in organising or exercising access ?

Part V- factual or legal grounds justifying the request : include information on the
following matters (if you wish you can attach a separate document or affidavit to the
application ):

History of relationship : give a brief description of the relationship between the child's parents: if the parents
separated, briefly describe the circumstances: Legal proceedings: have there been legal proceedings in the
past relating to parental responsibility, custody or access ? if so, briefly describe the outcome of those
proceedings; attach copy of any court order or agreement concerning custody or access to the child.

Part VI- civil proceedings in progress

Include information on any Family Law proceedings in progress in Australia. Part VI - Proposed arrangements
for access

Indicate whether you wish the child to travel to Australia for access, or you will travel to the Convention
country for access or you wish to have access by telephone or letter. Indicate whether you have funds to pay
return airfares for the child (and a companion if the child is too young to travel alone). Indicate whether you
will be seeking a grant of financial assistance to cover airfares.

Application For Assistance in Organising or Securing Rights of Access to a Child

In Accordance With the Hague Convention on the Civil aspects of International Child Abduction

Requesting Centra; authority or Applicant: Requested Authority:
.........................................................................................................................................................

Concerns the following child: .............................................. who will attain the age of 16 on ................ ..
.................. . ... NOTE: The following particulars should be completed insofar as possible.

I - Identity of the Child and it's Parents

1 Child

surname and first names ................................................ date and place of birth ................................................
habitual residence................................................. passport or identity card No., if any .......................................
description and photo, if possible (see annexes) .............................

2 Parents

2.1 Mother;

surname and first names ............................................ date and place of birth .................................................
nationality................................................. ......... occupation ........................................................... habitual
residence................................................. passport or identity card No., if any .......................................

2.2 Father:

surname and first names ............................................ date and place of birth .................................................
nationality........................................................... occupation .......................................................... habitual
residence....................................... .............. passport or identity card No., if any ......................................




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2.3 Date and place of marriage ............................................

II - Requesting Individual

3 surname and first names ............................................... nationality of individual
applicant ........................................ occupation of individual applicant .......................................
address............................................................. passport or identity card No., if any .......................................
relation to the child ................................................. name and address of legal adviser, if
any ..................................

III - Pplace Where the Child is Thought To Be:

4.1 Information concerning the person alleged to have prevented the exercise of rights of access or denied
the enjoyment of access

surname and first names ............................................... date and place of birth, if
known ......................................... nationality, if known .................................................
occupation ................................................. last known address ................................................. passport or
identity card No., if any ....................................... description and photo, if possible (see
annexes) .............................

4.2 Address of the child .................................................

4.3 Other persons who might be able to supply additional information relating to the whereabouts of the child

IV - Circumstances Relating To the Prevention of Exercise or Rights of Access

V - Factual or Legal Grounds Justifying the Request
........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................

VI - Civil Proceedings Inprogress
.......................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................

VII - Proposed Arrangements To Secure Exercise of Rights of Access
...........................................................................................................................................
...........................................................................................................................................

VIII - Other Remarks
............................................................................................................................................

IX - List of Documents Attached*

*e.g. - certified copy of relevant decision or agreement concerning custody or access; -
photographs .............................................................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................................

I authorise the requested Central Authority and its agents to act on my behalf and to do all things reasonable
and necessary in connection with this application.

Signature of applicant

Date .................................

Place ................................




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Financial Assistance For Overseas Legal and Travel Costs

What is the Overseas Custody (Child Removal) Scheme?

The Overseas Custody (Child Removal) Scheme is a non statutory scheme under which the Commonwealth
Attorney-General may grant financial assistance to a person ordinarily resident in Australia for their overseas
legal costs, travel and other expenses of recovering a child removed from or detained from outside Australia
by another person. Grants of assistance may also be made for legal or travel costs incurred in organising or
securing the travel of a child to Australia for access.

The scheme has been operating since 1979. The following table provides some statistics on the operation of
the scheme in recent years:


                                      1992/93    1993/94 1994/95     1995/96
Applications for financial assistance 22         22       22         48
Grants of financial assistance        14         14       15         28
Total cost of grants                  $108,000 $98,000 $123,000 $145,000
What are the grounds for a grant of assistance?

If the Attorney-General is satisfied on the grounds of hardship and reasonableness, he may in his discretion
make a grant of financial assistance. The exercise of the discretion is unfettered and accordingly each case
must be in the end determined on its own merits and all relevant circumstances must be taken into account.
Basically, there is a means test and you must show that you have a reasonable chance of securing the return
of the child to Australia. The Attorney-General may decline to grant assistance if it is available from another
source.

"Hardship" is interpreted to mean financial hardship and consideration is given to all relevant matters such as
income, expenditure, assets and liabilities of the applicant and the estimated costs of overseas legal
proceedings. The broad test of 'hardship' is whether the applicant has the means to meet the cost of overseas
proceedings without incurring serious financial difficulty. However, in making this judgment, reference is made
to the conditions of eligibility for the grant of legal aid generally. A contribution may be required from the
applicant towards the cost of the proceedings commensurate with the applicant's financial circumstances or
having regard to the outcome of the proceedings. Conditions are imposed to ensure that the costs incurred
are reasonable and proper costs. The assistance granted will be a specified percentage of those costs.
Alternatively, a lump sum grant may be made. The engagement of counsel is not approved as a matter of
course.

"Reasonableness" is determined having regard, amongst other things, to:

(a) the prospects of success: (b) the nature and extent of the benefit or detriment that may accrue to the
applicant if the grant is or is not made; (c) the availability of other legal aid generally.

What financial assistance is available?

Grants of financial assistance may be made for overseas legal, travel and living expenses incurred in
recovering a child wrongfully removed to or retained in another country. Limited assistance may be available
for the costs of locating a child overseas. Grants of assistance may also be made for legal or travel costs
incurred in organising or securing the travel of a child to Australia for access.

Legal costs: In respect of abductions of children from Australia to a country which is a party to the Hague
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, legal assistance may be obtainable from
overseas authorities. Applicants are required to utilise any available procedures under this Convention before
a grant of financial assistance will be made. The total sum of any legal aid that may be awarded to the
applicant by overseas authorities will be deducted from any payment by way of financial assistance or repaid
to the Commonwealth as appropriate. The applicant must pursue an application for such legal aid to finality
and inform the Legal Aid Branch of the Attorney-General's Department, of the result.

Except where legal expenses are met by a legal aid body, or by overseas authorities pursuant to the Hague
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the Commonwealth will meet the applicant's




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reasonable legal costs of representation by an overseas lawyer in the overseas legal proceedings in
accordance with whatever scale is relevant in the appropriate court. Essential disbursements will be paid at
cost subject to the production of original receipts. The applicant must take all reasonable and necessary steps
to recover the amount of the overseas lawyer's costs and the repatriation costs from the abductor or other
party to the proceedings. Costs associated with travel of any proposed witness to the overseas proceedings
are to be the subject of prior separate approval by the Legal Aid Branch of the Attorney-General's
Department.

The Scheme does not provide for legal costs incurred in Australia with respect to the overseas proceedings or
the preparation of an application under the Scheme. However, you may be eligible for assistance from your
local State or Territory legal aid authority for those costs.

Travel costs: If children are to be returned to Australia, the Commonwealth will meet the cost of a single
economy airfare. If the accompanying parent on the return journey is the abductor of the child/ren, assistance
may be provided for that parent's airfare. The Commonwealth will not meet the cost of your travel overseas
unless it is absolutely necessary for the purpose of legal proceedings or for collection and return of children to
Australia.

Normally, assistance for travel to participate in overseas legal proceedings will not be authorised unless an
overseas lawyer certifies in writing, just prior to the travel, that the presence of the person travelling is
required overseas at that time for the purposes of proceedings. Where approval for assistance has been
given some time prior to the time of travel, you would need to demonstrate that you still had reasonable
prospects of success in the proceedings.

Where the Commonwealth meets the cost of an applicant's travel to an overseas country, assistance for the
additional travel expenses of a companion (such as a relative, friend or lawyer) will not be authorised unless it
can be demonstrated that the person travelling is in such a physical or mental condition that it is essential for
him or her to be accompanied overseas, or that the presence of the companion is essential for the purpose of
giving evidence in or otherwise contributing to the overseas proceedings. Such assistance is very rarely
approved. It would be very unwise to incur such expenses without prior approval from the Legal Aid Branch.

Living expenses: Assistance with the expenses of living overseas is not always authorised. Where it is
authorised, the Commonwealth will meet the applicant's essential living expenses while out of the country to
the extent of the Sole Parents' Pension, unless it can be demonstrated that this is inadequate. This weekly
sum will only be payable in respect of the period certified in writing by the overseas lawyers that it is essential
for the applicant to be in the forum country for the purposes of the proceedings. An advance equal to a four
week payment will be made immediately prior to the applicant's departure. The applicant must minimise
expenses so far as reasonable, for example by staying with relatives where possible. If the applicant is in
receipt of a Commonwealth or other benefit, these payments will only be made if written evidence is produced
that it will cease during the applicant's absence from Australia;

What are the terms and conditions of assistance?

Amount of a grant: The total liability of the Commonwealth will be set at a specific sum. This limit is not to be
exceeded without prior approval It must not be assumed that the limit will automatically be increased. The
Commonwealth reserves the right to impose a contribution on the applicant of up to 100% of the total amount
of assistance provided. This contribution may be imposed or varied at any time, including after the
proceedings.

Receipts for expenses: Any expenses, including travel expenses, in respect of which reimbursement is sought
must be evidenced by original documentation.

Reports on proceedings: The applicant and the applicant's overseas lawyer must report regularly on the
proceedings to Legal Aid Branch in writing and in English. Such reports must be provided at least monthly,
significant developments must be reported promptly, as must any change in the applicant's financial position.
The continuation of financial assistance is conditional upon compliance with this term.

How do I make an application for financial assistance ?

A copy of the application for financial assistance is attached. Some points to take into account in completing
this form are :




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Part D Questions 1,2,3,7 : if you are seeking the return of, or access to, a child in a Hague Convention, you
can simply refer to your Hague application in answering these questions.

Part D Question 4,5 and 6 : these questions are not applicable under the Overseas Custody (Child Removal)
Scheme; write not applicable;

If you are seeking the return of a child from another country, you may be required to obtain a written opinion
from a legal practitioner in that country on the prospects of success. The opinion should canvass in some
detail all the evidence likely to be before the overseas court, provide details of the necessity for the applicant
or witnesses to attend the hearing and express an opinion as to the likelihood of the proceedings terminating
in a manner favourable to the applicant. If you cannot afford to obtain an opinion, a grant of assistance may
be made for this purpose. In Hague Convention cases, an opinion from the International Civil Procedures
Section of the Attorney General's Department may suffice.

Applications should be sent to the Legal Aid Branch, Attorney-General's Department, Robert Garran Offices,
National Circuit, Barton, ACT, 2600.

The application may be faxed to : (06) 250 5934

Telephone enquires may be made to the Legal Aid Branch (06) 250 6906.

If you choose to travel overseas before your application is determined, your application can be considered
retrospectively, but you will not be put in a better position than if the application had been determined before
you left. You should therefore bear in mind the strict requirement to minimise costs, keep receipts, and
demonstrate that all travel and other expenses were essential.

APPLICATION FOR ASSISTANCE BY THE COMMONWEALTH FOR LEGAL AND RELATED EXPENSES
FOR SCHEMES ADMINISTERED BY THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL

This form is to be completed by applicants seeking assistance for legal and related expenses from the
Commonwealth under statutory and non-statutory schemes administered by the Attorney-General, including
the Cases of National Importance Scheme.

The form is to be fully completed. Please type or print neatly and answer ALL questions. Assistance may be
refused if all information (including attachments) is not provided. If space provided is insufficient, include
additional material on a separate page and attach to the form.

The information provided on this form is required to assess your eligibility for financial assistance. It may be
necessary to disclose some or all of the information on the form to Government agencies and departments, in
order to seek further information relevant to that assessment.

^ This form must be signed in the presence of a Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for Declarations or other
authorised person in your State or Territory before whom a declaration may be made.

This form and all attachments should be sent to:

Assistant Secretary Legal Aid Development Branch Legal Aid & Family Services Attorney-General's
Department National Circuit BARTON ACT 2600

Phone: (06) 250 6770 Fax: (06) 250 5934

A Particulars of Applicant

Surname Given Name

____________________________ ____________________

Name of Organisation

Applicant's position in organisation: _____________________




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Number on members (approximate) _____________________

Address _______________________________________

Postcode ______________

Telephone No. Home________________Work_________________________________

Date of Birth (if applicable) Place of Birth   /   /19   Australia ______ Overseas _____

If Born Overseas: What country were you born in? What year did you arrive in Australia?

Aare you Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander?

YES ______ NO _____

Employment Status

Employed _______ Self Employed ______

Unemployed ______ Not Applicable ______

Are you in Receipt of Social Security Benefits? (other than the family allowance)

YES ______ NO ______

B. Your Solicitor (if applicable) Solicitor's Name_________________________________

Name of Solicitor's Firm___________________________

Address_____________________________________________

Telephone Facsimile DX Postcode

Other Funding: Please attach a copy of any letter of refusal you have received.

Have you applied for legal aid or assistance from another body ( • box)

YES___ NO___

If yes, to whom did you apply?

D Case Details

Please attach copies of any court documents and any letters from your solicitor about the case.

1. Describe the legal action you intend to take.

__________________________________________________________________

2. What are the facts of the case?

_________________________________________________________________

3. What are the legal questions to be decided?

__________________________________________________________________




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4. Does the case involve an issue of Commonwealth law? (give details of the Commonweallh law involved)

_________________________________________________________________________

5. In respect of Native Title matters only, does the case involve an issue of State or common law? (Give
details of the State and/or common law involved)

_________________________________________________________________________

6. Explain how the case is of general importance.

_________________________________________________________________________

7. What are the legal arguments in support of you case?

_________________________________________________________________________

8. What evidence or witnesses do you have to support your case?

_________________________________________________________________________

9. What do you stand lo gain/lose by the case? (eg. interest in land, loss of job. custody of children,
compensation for injury etc.)

_________________________________________________________________________

10. At what stage is the case? (state the court and court reference, if any)

_________________________________________________________________________

11. What is the next stage?

_________________________________________________________________________

12. How much do you think it will cost you to resolve the case?

_________________________________________________________________________

13. Give details of how you have calculated your costs for each stage of the case.

_________________________________________________________________________

E. Dependants (not applicable if applicant is an organisation) List
husband/wife/partner and dependant children

Name Date of Birth Relationship to you Living with?




F. Occupation

Applicant Fianciall associated person?
G. Income and Commitments Details: Applicant and Your Partner




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• If employed, attach a copy of latest tax return and a copy of latest pay slip. * If self-employed, attach a copy
of latest financial statements or tax return. • If your business is incorporated, attach a copy of the company's
latest financial statements, and copies of financial statements for all related companies. • If unemployed,
attach a copy of latest tax return and a copy of latest benefit statement. • If applying on behalf of an
organisation, do not complete the following section but provide a copy of the organisation's latest financial
statements.

Weekly Income

Applicant Financially associated person $ $ Gross weekly wage, salary _________________
_____________________ or earnings _________________ _____________________ Other source of
income _________________ _____________________

Include pensions, compensation, unemployment or sickness benefits, rents, interest,— dividends and any
other income.

Weekly Commitments

Applicant Financially associated person $ $ Tax (inc. Medicare) ___________ ______________________

Rent ___________ ______________________

Mortgage payments on dwelling in which applicant lives ___________ ______________________

Board or lodging ___________ ______________________

Maintenance payments to spouse and/or children of applicant ___________ _______________________

Payments under hire-purchase and credit sales agreements, loan agreements for motor vehicle(s), household
goods and furniture (identify each item) ___________ _______________________

Superannuation and life insurance: ___________ _______________________ Other insurance (give details):
___________ _______________________

Child minding fees paid to enable income to be earned ___________ _______________________

Garnishee or other court orders (give details) ___________ _______________________

Other commitments (e.g. business expenses) ___________ _______________________

H. Assets

                                                                                            Financially
                                                                                  Applicant
                                                                                            associtated person
                                                                                  $
                                                                                            $
RESIDENCE Address: Market value: If mortgaged, amount still owing on
mortgager(s): OTHER REAL ESTATE House and/or land other than
residence — give details as above
HOUSEHOLD GOODS, FURNITURE, AND PERSONAL EFFECTS
Approximate value: Amount owing (if any):
MOTOR VEHICLE Year, model and type: Market value: Amount owing, if
any:
Savings held either solely or Jointly with any other person
Shares, debentures etc. (give details)
All money owing to you, and who owes it to you (give details)
All other assets (e.g. surrender value of life insurance policies)




http://www.familylawsection.org.au/conference_papers/7ncp/7ncp439.htm                                   4/03/2006
International Child Abduction Kit                                                                                                         Page 23 of 25



I. Liabilities

 Any liabilities you consider should be taken into account as showing hardship e.g. accumulated debts
 (specify)
J. CONTRIBUTION Are you able to contribute towards the expected cost of the proceedings

Yes ____ NO ____

If yes, how much? $

Check List

Have you...

• completed all parts of the form? • attached copies of letters of refusal from other bodies you have applied to
for assistance, is any? * attached copies of relevant court documents and any correspondence from your
solicitor? * if applying on behalf of an organisation, attached a copy of its latest financial statements? •
attached a copy of your latest tax return (and of any financially associated person)? • attached a copy of your
latest pay slip (and any financially associated person), or if you are unemployed, a copy of your latest benefit
statement (and any financially associated person)? * attached a copy of your company's financial statements
(including related companies), if any?

Statutory Declaration By Applicant

I,....................................................................................................................................... (full name)
(occupation) of....................................................................................................................................... (address)

do solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:

1. I have not disposed of any assets for the purpose of qualifying for assistance; 2. the information given in
this application is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. 3. I believe that [cross out
whichever does not apply]

I am, personally liable/ the organisation is liable for the legal costs and expenses of the proceedings
described in this application; and 4. I am/ the organisation is not indemnified by any person or organisation for
those legal costs and expenses. 5. I give officers of Legal Aid and Family Services, Attorney-General's
Department, permission to seek information regarding this application from other government departments
and agencies, including legal aid commissions; and 6. I undertake to notify Legal Aid and Family Services,
Attorney-General's Department, of any change in my financial circumstances which could affect my eligibility
for continuing financial assistance.

I make this solemn declaration by virtue of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 and subject to the penalties
provided by that Act for the making of false statements in statutory declarations, conscientiously believing the
statements contained in this declaration to be true in every particular.

....................................................... (Signature of applicant)

DECLARED AT............................................................................... THE............................ DAY
OF.................................. 19..............

BEFORE ME..................................................... (J. P., Commissioner for Declarations or other authorised
person before whom a declaration may be made) .........................................................................
(name) .........................................................................
(qualifications) ......................................................................... (address)

Report by Solicitor About the Application (if this form is completed with the help of a solicitor)
[Cross out whichever does not apply]:

1. I am the solicitor for the applicant.




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International Child Abduction Kit                                                                                                 Page 24 of 25



Although I do not represent the applicant, I have helped the applicant to complete this form.

2. It is my opinion, for the reasons set out below,

• that the applicant has reasonable prospects of success • that the applicant has good grounds for being
represented • that there is a point of general importance under Commonwealth law involved * in the
proceedings described in this application. • that there is a point under State or common law involved which
has importance beyond the State or Territory where the case arises.

3. My reasons for these opinions are:

4. I estimate the applicant's legal costs and expenses of the proceedings, at local legal aid rates, at
$............................. DATED THIS ................................. DAY OF ...................................... 19..............

.................................................................................... (Signature of solicitor).

.................................................................................... (Name of solicitor)

.................................................................................... (Name of firm)

Where Can I find Out More About Assistance With International Child Abduction?

A copy of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is included in
Commonwealth legislation which implements the Convention in Australia: The Family Law (Child Abduction
Convention) Regulations

You may be able to see a copy of the regulations at your local library or purchase a copy from Australian
Government Publishing Service Bookshops.

Empty Arms Network

The Empty Arms Network is a private organisation providing counselling and support to parents whose
children have been abducted to other countries. It has links to similar organisations overseas. For more
information contact

Empty Arms Network 254 Riversdale Road HAWTHORN

Tel 03 882 5543 Fax 03 882 5522

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Consular Operations Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will assist parents of
abducted children by arranging consular assistance in foreign countries. The Department may also provide a
list of lawyers in overseas countries who may assist. Telephone 06 261 3305. Fax 2613491.

State and Territory agencies

State and Territory Central Authorities may assist legal practitioners and members of the public with advice on
the Hague Convention. For further information see page 12 of this Kit.

Commonwealth Attorney General's Department The Legal Aid Branch of the Commonwealth Attorney
General's Department administers the Overseas Custody (Child Removal Scheme). See page 29 of this kit.

The Commonwealth Attorney General's Department Library publishes a bibliography listing Australian and
overseas publications on international child abduction. To purchase a copy telephone (06 250 6612).

The International Civil Procedures Section of the Commonwealth Attorney General's Department co ordinates
the implementation of the Hague Convention in Australia. It provides advice to legal practitioners and
members of the public. The Section also publishes pamphlets and a caselist of Australian and overseas court




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International Child Abduction Kit                                                         Page 25 of 25



decisions on the Convention. For further information contact:

Intentional Civil Procedures Section: Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department Robert Gairan Offices
National, Circuit BARTON ACT 2600 Telephone: (06) 250 6724 Fax: (06) 250 5939




http://www.familylawsection.org.au/conference_papers/7ncp/7ncp439.htm                         4/03/2006

				
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