The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Act of 1996 is a unilateral treaty which seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international borders. Its main objective is to enforce rights of custody over a child or children who have been wrongfully removed or kept in a foreign country in breach of those rights and to secure their prompt return to the country where the child or children habitually reside.
In the story I have written a judge must decide the future of two very young boys caught up in the complications of this law.
In our modern world divorce is a reality for many couples. But when one parent is in one country and the other in another sharing custody of the children can become the focus of a bitter battle. Who ought to have the children? Should it automatically be the mother? Why not, the good father?
”A Judge Decided” is a fictionalised story based on some true events.
It is available for purchase from Eloise of Sonopuitgewers for R250,00 plus shipping. If you wish to purchase a copy, please email her with your details and she will quote you the final price.
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A JUDGE DECIDED – A LITERARY EVALUATION by Pierre Massyn
Child custody – a topic often avoided, but when discussed, one that inevitably leads to heated debate; a controversial subject since King Solomon and his verdict on the rightful custodian of the disputed child.
Families are known, not only to divide, but to split because of the issue of child custody. Now Helen Fenwick examines in depth this contentious topic in her gripping new book, A judge Decided.
Written with circumspection and great sensitivity, Fenwick deftly interweaves other underlying issues of parent separation and third party involvement.
A Judge Decided is not only a remarkable legal case study based on true events, it exposes the human face of the dramatis personae in a deteriorating relationship. In her groundbreaking work, Fenwick casts the reader into the roles of parents and children alike – the latter caught between two counter poles. Central to the sub-plot of a husband substituting his loyal wife for another woman, is the presence of a mother pining for her children.
Written in the present tense, the book is refreshingly candid and characterised by rare-found honesty, expressed in engaging dialogue between the characters.
Always hovering in the background, in another dimension, is Leigh’s mother – her spirit guide who acts as mentor and counselor. Carey appears in the form of a bird – a heron, a sparrow, an owl – to comfort both Leigh and Penny.
The author successfully portrays and explains bewilderingly legal issues, such as custody of the central character’s children in a disarmingly honest way. Her style is loose and pragmatic, and she paints her narrative in a flowing and easy way. Enshrined in the issue of custody, is The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, Act 72 of 1996. Helen Fenwick not only untangles this complex legal web, but presents it to the critical reader in a palatable and credible way.
At the risk of spoiling the reader’s potential enjoyment of this excellent work, I shall restrict myself to saying that the tension builds up palpably up to the point where the judge finally has to give his verdict. Will the forces of good prevail?
The print and layout is pleasing and attractive and Eloise Krige’s Sonop Uitgewers deserves a commendation for a job well done.
In conclusion: A book dealing with the topic of A Judge Decided is long overdue and will be thoroughly appreciated by parents and individuals of all ages world-wide. Rating: *****