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Global Television on Child Abduction

The Managing Director of The Defence Group, Arun S. Maini, was interviewed by Global Television’s “News at Six” about a case of international child abduction family lawyer at MacDonald and Partners in Toronto. International child abduction is a serious and growing problem, especially given the volume of air travel and globalization in the modern era. Most cases of international child abduction in Canada relate to custody disputes in which a parent or relative takes the child to another country, where the abductor has family or citizenship ties. In recognition of this problem, the United Nations in the early 1980s enacted a law known as The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This law requires that member countries who are signatories of the Convention ensure that children who are illegally removed from their country of habitual residence are returned to that country. The law ensures that parents cannot simply cross a border to defeat the custody and access rights of the child and the other parent.

In this video clip, Mr. Maini and Ms. Brodkin explain how they were able to use their network of contacts within the justice, police and diplomatic communities to successfully negotiate for the return of a child taken to China by her mother and not returned to Canada, the child’s birthplace and home. China is not a signatory of the Hague Convention, so there was no obligation on Chinese authorities to assist us in this case. However, using the threat of criminal sanction through negotiations with the Crown Attorney’s office, and negotiating with the Chinese authorities through the offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa and our embassy and consulate in China, we were successful in getting the child home safe and sound. She now lives with her father, who has sole custody.

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Arun S. Maini has practised criminal law since 1994. He graduated from the University of Toronto and Dalhousie University Law School. After articling, Mr. Maini joined the federal Department of Justice as a prosecutor, and later transferred to the provincial Crown Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted all manner of criminal offences, from theft to murder. In 2003, Mr. Maini left the government to establish The Defence Group. He has prosecuted and defended hundreds of cases, and has extensive jury trial experience.

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