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ECJ guidance to national courts ordering secure detention of children in other Member States


By way of the urgent preliminary reference procedure, the ECJ has given guidance on a number of issues arising in proceedings concerning the judgment of a court in one Member State ordering the placement of a child in a secure institution in another Member State.

Under the provisions of Regulation 2201/2003, such a judgment can only be made once the court in the requesting State (in this case, Ireland) has been in consultation with and obtained consent from a competent authority in the requested State (in this case, the United Kingdom).

The proceedings took less than 10 weeks from when the request was sent by the referring court to delivery of judgment, including a one day hearing on 26 March 2012.

In giving its responses to the referred questions, the ECJ agreed, in large part, with the submissions made by the United Kingdom at the hearing. In particular, the ECJ held that a judgment of a court in a requesting State making an order for compulsory placement does not take effect automatically in the requested State where placement is sought. Rather, such a judgment must, before its enforcement in the requested State, be declared enforceable in that State.

The judgment is here.

Margaret Gray appeared for the United Kingdom.