Can an Israeli court hearing child abduction proceedings consider video evidence recorded on a mobile phone?

Answers

Yes - the family court has discretion to do so, as it did in Family File 13332-09-15 during an evidence stage hearing on 14.10.2015, where a video phone recording of the child having a nightmare, was viewed, to support the mother's defence. The defendant mother (represented by our law offices) claimed the video should be assessed by a clinical psychologist, which she requested be appointed, by the court, to prepare an expert report, as part of her “grave risk” defence under article 13(b) of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction.

The family court refused to appoint an expert (in contradiction to court practice and case-law),but the mother was denied the right to appeal against the court’s refusal, as part of her planned appeal against the return order judgment of 22.10.2015, because of the highly criticized procedural breaches of the family court, aired by Tel Aviv District Court in its decision on 23.10.2014 (Family Appeal 46344-10-15), after the father had already managed to whisk the child out of Israel on the way back to the U.K., within c 2 hours of the judgment being released!

The District Court stated that the family Court had effectively railroaded the mother’s right of appeal against the judgment( given at the end of the day at the end of the working week in the absence of the parties), which had wrongly ordered the immediate release of the stop orders against the minor( while refusing a stay of proceedings), and without informing the mother’s counsel of the judgment, paving the way for the Plaintiff father to remove the child from Israel and preventing the mother from exhausting her rights to fight the child's return.

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