Top court to clarify law with far-reaching impact, says intervener lawyer

The Supreme Court will consider the complex issues of habitual residence, the definition of parenthood, and the power of the courts to make orders about British nationals resident overseas when hearing an international child custody dispute this week.

Expedited by the Supreme Court after hearings at the Court of Appeal in January and May 2015, the custody battle is significant both for the parties involved and its potential impact on family law worldwide.

The case concerns the family of a 7-year-old child (P) who was taken to live in Pakistan in February 2014 by her birth mother, one of a lesbian couple, after the breakdown of the relationship.