Court Can ‘Weed’ Expert's Report - Can a court be selective and critical in the way it handles a report submitted by an expert it appoints to report on a particular issue in Hague Convention proceedings?
Yes, certainly. For example, in 2005 Beersheva Family Court appointed a psychiatrist to report on whether either of two children abducted to Israel from Italy by their Israeli father objected to being returned there. In her report, she addressed other issues, too, and expressed her own opinion on whether it would be better for them to return there and live with their mother, or stay in Israel, with their father. The court ‘weeded’ the report, selecting only the answer to the question it had asked, and disregarded other irrelevant issues, or those which it was outside its jurisdiction to ask within the confines of a Hague Case. It concentrated purely on whether the minors were of sufficient age and maturity to have their views taken into account, and whether the views they had expressed reflected their true wishes. The children had objected to the idea of being returned to Italy, and the expert told the court that these wishes, as reported, reflected their true wishes. The court ignored the viewpoint openly expressed by the expert recommending, however, that they be returned because in the long-run she estimated that they would be at risk of suffering emotional damage because the mother had stated she would not return to Israel herself if the children remained.
Abduction To Israel