Pennello v Pennello and another (2004) 1 All SA 32 (SCA)

Main Issue: Abduction or defenses in article 13(B) of the Hague Convention that requested State not bound to order return of child if existence of grave risk of physical or psychological harm, or that child would otherwise be placed in an intolerable situation.

Findings: On an application (by the father) for the return of a minor to her habitual residence in the US. The Court reasoned that once it has been shown that a child has been wrongfully removed, the person opposing the return of the child must “establish” circumstances bringing the case within the ambit of article 13 of the Hague Convention. Accordingly, the Court reversed the decision of the court a quo, by stating that it has erred in accepting the argument of the respondent (mother) that the minor would be exposed to harm were she to be returned to the USA. The Court explained that the respondent has not proved the possibility of grave risk.