Brazil Supreme Court blocks boy's return to US father

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge blocked the return to the United States of a 9-year-old boy.

Brazil Supreme Court blocks boy's return to US father

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge blocked the return to the United States of a 9-year-old boy at the center of an international custody dispute on Thursday, saying the boy's own will must be taken into account.

The judge granted a habeas corpus request preventing Sean Goldman from leaving Brazil until he has expressed his own will in court. Brazil's O Globo newspaper said on its website that the case would now be delayed until February.

A federal court had ruled on Wednesday that the boy must be handed over to the U.S. consulate in Rio de Janeiro in 48 hours in a victory for his American father David Goldman, who arrived in Rio on Thursday to collect him.

New Jersey resident Goldman has been fighting for custody of Sean, since his then-wife took the boy on vacation to her native Brazil in 2004, then divorced him and stayed there in what Goldman calls a case of "child abduction".

The mother remarried, but died last year. Her family and second husband have sought to keep the boy in Brazil.

The family says that Sean wants to stay in Brazil and argued in their latest petition to the Supreme Court that the boy's own statements should be taken into consideration.

Right to be heard

Supreme Court judge Marco Aurelio said that Sean had the right to be heard by Brazilian courts and that he was old enough to make his own decision about where to live.

"At stake is a life in formation. At stake is the right to come and go, the right to an opinion and expression as well as human dignity," he said in a statement released on the court's website.

He said the Hague Abduction Convention aimed a curbing cases of child abduction by parents recognized the importance of the child's will and the possibility of refusing a return if it went against fundamental human rights and liberties.



Reuters

Last Mod: 18 Aralık 2009, 15:52
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