Child Abduction in Greece Statistics in Relation to Mainstream Hague Convention Cases through the Central Authorities


The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, signed on 25 October 1980, was ratified by Greece on 2 December 1992 by virtue of law 2102/1992 and came into force on 1 June 1993.
According to the most recent statistics provided by the Greek Central Authority (Ministry of Justice) the number of the Hague Convention cases entered in Greece (through the Central Authorities) and heard by the Greek courts is 87 (33 in 1994, 25 in 1995, 22 in 1996 and in 1997).
The majority of the cases tried in the Greek courts have been the result of requests by the USA, Germany, the UK, Australia, Sweden and Canada. In these cases, approximately 6% of the applications ended in amicable settlements, while approximately 60% ended in judicial decisions ordering the child’s return.
The number of requests which Greece has made through its Central Authority to overseas authorities is 36 (seven in 1994, 13 in 1995, eight in 1996 and eight in 1997).
These have been made mainly to the UK, the USA and Germany.
Approximately 5% of these cases ended in amicable settlements, while approximately 85% to 90% ended i judicial decisions dismissing the applications for the return of the child.
According to the information gathered from the Central Authority it seems clear that the Greek courts are inclined to issue judgments in accordance with the initial purpose of the Convention’s enactment, while Greece’s experience of overseas courts seems to make much more extensive use of the exceptions provided in Arts 12 and 13 of the Convention and dismiss applications for return.