Posts Tagged 'England'

Father ordered to return his son to the UK after losing case

A UK court has ordered a father who kept his son in Singapore with his parents to return him to the UK.

The couple met and married in Singapore in 2011. The mother originated from Mongolia. The father who worked for a bank, purchased a home in London and the mother joined him there. Their son was born the following year. By all accounts the marriage was strained. Police were called on a number of occasions and Westminster social services were involved when allegations of domestic abuse were made against the father.

In June 2013 the mother was studying at Birkbeck University and it was agreed the father’s parents would take the boy to Singapore to live with them for a few months.

In January this year, the couple flew out to Singapore with a return flight apparently booked for all three of them a few weeks later. Without telling the mother, the father had resigned from his London-based job, lined up a new position in Singapore and withdrawn £18,000 from the joint account. Immediately on his arrival in Singapore, the father commenced custody and divorce proceedings. The mother was served with the papers over lunch with the father.

The mother returned to the UK without her son. She found herself locked out of the family home and her ATM card cancelled. She started court proceedings in England for the return of her son, claiming she had only ever agreed to a temporary stay. The father, meanwhile, insisted that they had agreed to an indefinite stay.

The presiding judge looked at the issue of jurisdiction and the child’s “habitual residence”: was it in England, where he had been born, or had he become Singaporean during his stay in the country, as the father argued?

The judge said that the factual element is important i.e. where the child is physically located but also important is the intent and purpose of the parties and the wider circumstances of how the child came to be where he currently is.

The judge concluded there was no shared intention to relocate back to Singapore. The purpose of the child’s journey to Singapore, as agreed by his parents at the time was for a short period from August to November 2013, while the mother completed her studies. This was extended to January 2014 because the father could not travel owing to work commitments. The child’s habitual residence therefore remained in England and the judge ordered that the child be returned.

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The strange game of cricket.

This weekend we saw a further example of why many people either understand the game of cricket or they don’t. For those of us who have played and watched the game since a young age the reinstatement of England’s Ian Bell was entirely appropriate following his seemingly controversial yet correct dismissal of being run out in the England v India test match.

There are many laws that have been established since the game’s invention, believed to have been in the 16th Century,  but the game has always been considered a “Gentleman’s game”. So what does this mean?

Thankfully the Marylebone Cricket Club, or MCC as it is better known, have been custodians of the laws of the game since 1787 and in 2000 it sought to define what is meant by the term “Gentleman’s game” and renamed it the “Spirit of Cricket” which is now fully engrained in the preamble to the Laws.

The “Spirit of Cricket” can be read in detail at http://bit.ly/qtgOyI  Having been captain of my club for a number of years and playing for the MCC this has been at the forefront of my mind in how I play and conduct myself on the field.

However what MS Dhoni did was completely within the Spirit of the game even though as a professional player at the top of his sport to make such a sacrifice with his team not in the strongest of positions must have caused his conscience some trouble. It is often for this reason that people either understand the game or they don’t. Whilst I can fully understand MS Dhoni and the Indian team’s decision how do I go about explaining it to my non cricketing friends?

It’s hard enough going through the ways in which you can be out and that after five days of cricket there does not have to be a winner. So where to start with the Bell incident. He was out and then he was in. The Spirit of the game said he should be in when the Laws of the game said he was out.

I know of no other sport where this would happen, can you imagine Manchester United captain saying to the referee after he disallowed a goal to award it in favour of the opposition, I don’t think so!

Cricket has been played all around the world having been taken to many places by the British. UK expats have continued to spread the game into far-flung places even if some of the more strict laws are relaxed to ensure that the most basic form of the game such as beach cricket can take place.

Debates take place all around the world about the best bowler, best batsman and the best team. The game is full of statistics with records being kept of virtually all games from international level to the village green. But the reality is that you either love it or you don’t. I suggest that those who understand it form the first group!


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