Decision of the Court of Cassation, I Civil Section, No. 3540 of 12 July 2013, filed on 14 February 2014

The proceeding concerned the case of two children removed from Greece by their father, who had later applied for their custody in Italy. In its judgment, the Court of Cassation noted, first, that the European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children, although invoked by the claimant, was not applicable. The applicable treaty was, in reality, the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as complemented by the EU regulation No. 2201 of 2003, which aims at securing the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in any Contracting State. A second point dealt with in the judgment was that the competent court had not violated the principle of hearing the child under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on the Exercise of Children Rights, because the choice of not hearing the children was justified by reasons of opportunity, including their age.