Hilary Lennox comments for The Times in the Brief after she represented the Father in this recent case of child abduction

Judges are using contempt laws to jail parents who abduct children and remove them from the UK. In the most recent case, a father has been jailed for a year after failing to return his two daughters from Libya to the UK in defiance of four High Court orders.

Sentencing the father for a total of 12 months the judge said that the contempts were “so serious” that only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

Hilary Lennox, a barrister at 5 St Andrew’s Hill chambers who acted for the father, said: “The judges are sending a message to child abductors who believe they are above the law because the child is outside the UK and do not have to comply with UK orders.”

Such sentences were rare in the past but in recent years it has become more common to send child abductors to prison.

Hilary Lennox is a barrister called to the Bar in Ireland, Northern Ireland and England & Wales and has worked in a law firm in New York and the Innocence Project in Wisconsin.

Hilary is a highly experienced family practitioner across three jurisdictions. She covers all areas of family law. She is regularly instructed in international child abduction, child relocation and international jurisdictional issues (habitual residence) before the High Court most recently involving Syria, Libya, South Africa, India, Tanzania and Australia. 

Hilary  specialises  in international family, criminal, extradition and human rights.