Changes in the law on habitual residence

By Sara McCarthy

Over the last 12 months, there have been substantial developments in the law on habitual residence following judgments handed down from the Supreme Court, most notably in the cases of Re A (Children: Habitual Residence) [2013] UKSC 60 and the recent decision of LC (children) [2014] UKSC 1, handed down in early January. This article will focus on the changes brought about by these two decisions.

Prior to these judgments and their subsequent implementation, the lower courts had grappled with the uncertainty of balancing the UK tests on habitual residence propounded in R v Barnet London Borough Council, Ex p Shah [1983] 2 AC 309 and the European test as outlined in the Court of Justice of the European Union’s decision in Mercredi v Chaffe (Case C-497/10 PPU).

The key concepts in Lord Scarman’s definition in Shah were that the residence must be ‘voluntarily’ adopted and that it must be for ‘settled purposes’…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the No5 Chambers briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.


Fountain Court
Steelhouse Lane
B4 6DR