§ Mr. Tony Banks
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Spanish authorities to secure the return of Fernando Perez, a ward of court who was abducted from his school in Eastbourne on 10 October 1986 and taken by his father to the Canary Islands.
§ Mr. Eggar
Fernando Perez has both British and Spanish nationality. In accordance with international practice, dual nationals cannot be protected by Her Majesty's Government in the country of their other nationality.
Wardship orders taken out in this country can be enforced abroad by the local court under the terms of the European convention on the recognition and enforcement of decisions concerning the custody of children. We understand that solicitors acting for Mrs. Perez, the child's mother, have been advised of the correct channel for making application.
Our consular officers in Spain have no authority to expedite proceedings: this is a matter for the local court, in which we cannot intervene.232W
Our consul in Las Palmas has, however, informally drawn the court's attention to the wardship order, and has also agreed to effect service of the wardship papers against the child's father on behalf of Mrs. Perez's solicitors.