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Judgment reunites family separated by law

Publish date: 17 July 2017
Issue Number: 734
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Nigeria

In a ground-breaking new case the High Court in London has approved a Nigerian adoption order. The decision of Judge Anna Pauffley dealt with the unusual problem of a Nigerian couple studying in the UK and due to return home in 2019. They adopted a child in Nigeria, but because of their particular circumstances the couple fell through the cracks and had so far been unable to have the child live with them in England. The case, which involved expert legal evidence on aspects of Nigerian law, required the judge to find whether four criteria had been met, including that the essential characteristics of adoption in Nigeria were the same as in the UK. Ruling that the court would recognise the Nigerian adoption order the court commented: ‘There is no public policy reason, none at all, for refusing recognition. Indeed, it would be an affront to public policy to refuse to recognise (the child’s) adoption order. Legal writer Carmel Rickard takes a look at the judgment in her latest A Matter of Justice column on the Legalbrief site.

A Matter of Justice