Bayshore Broadcasting

Children's Rights group watches custody battle

Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation, August 29, 2008, by Daryl Morris and Manny Paiva

The President of the Canadian Children Rights Council says an Owen Sound judge made the right decision.

Grant Wilson is referring to the case of two year old Daine Fleguel-Cannock.

The Canadian-born boy is at the centre of a custody dispute between his Canadian mother and Australian father.

The mother, Jessica Fleguel (flu-gull) is appealing a decision made by Justice Robert Thompson to have her son's custody hearing in the Australian courts.

However, Wilson says the judge did everything he was supposed to and is totally in line with the Hague Convention.

Under those rules, Daine's trial must be held in the country of habitual residence, and he lived most of his life in Australia.

Wilson says there's a lot of holes in Jessica Fleguel's story.

He says her allegations about Daine going into foster care are wrong, as the Australian court will decide what is best for the child.

And Wilson adds the Australian's have a much better, more sophisticated family law system with seven family relationship centres, and practitioners certified by the government who assist parents going through a divorce.

He says parents can't even go to court until they've been through this system, and says Canada has nothing like this in place.

Wilson also says there is a history in this case that is rarely heard of in Canada. He says the mother and father in this case had already been to family court in Australia, and Fleguel fled once she found out she wouldn't be allowed to leave the country with her son once their custody trial started.

So therefore Wilson says Fleguel could face charges of abduction if she returns to Australia.

The Canadian Children Rights Council says it does not represent one side or the other in this dispute.

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