ARE THERE DEADLINES IN HAGUE CASES TO ENSURE SPEEDY ENDINGS?
Yes. Hague Convention cases are meant to be heard and decided quickly. The Convention sets a time-limit for Hague Cases of six-weeks from start to finish. A court hearing a Hague Case can be made to answer for delays. Each country has its own procedural rules governing the time-table.
In Israel special regulations exist for Hague Convention abduction cases that lay down procedure and deadlines that can only be altered in special circumstances. These oblige a Family Court in Israel hearing a Hague plea to make a reasoned decision within 6 weeks of the file being opened. Appeals (on both temporary decisions and final judgments) are supposed to be filed within a week. A decision on an appeal against a temporary decision should be made within a week of it being filed. A decision on an appeal against judgments should be made within 30 days of being filed.
If a Family Court hearing a Hague Case in Israel is not managing it according to the time-table set out in the regulations, or according to the rules of the Convention itself, an appeal can be made to the District Court regarding relevant temporary decisions. Sometimes decisions on the management of the case can have vital implications – and it is imperative to appeal against them.
A final decision or judgment on a Hague case made by the Family Court is appealable before the District Court. The Supreme Court hears appeals on District Court judgments.