Supreme Court Differs With UK in Protracted Lawsuit

  • Supreme Court differed with the findings of a UK Family Court and issued fresh directives on a protracted child custody case pitting a Kenyan woman against her foreigner partner.

    In determining the matter on Friday, February 24, the apex court faulted the UK court’s findings that had declared the child as a habitual England and Wales resident. The apex court further observed that the UK court ignored the fact that the child was a Kenyan national.

    The UK family court issued the verdict after the aggrieved Kenyan woman sued her estranged husband, who was then a manager of a multi-national hotel in Tanzania, over the custody of the child the duo shared.

    Following the ruling in UK, the Kenyan woman was denied child custodial rights.

    File photo of Supreme Court of Kenya facade in Nairobi

    File photo of Supreme Court of Kenya facade in Nairobi.


    Further, the Supreme Court, faulted the High Court and Court of Appeal of Kenya, which relied on the UK’s court findings without considering the child’s welfare.

    “The Supreme Court has also affirmed what parental responsibility is citing that it is a mandatory ongoing obligation and that it attaches to the rights of the child as it is the parent who has the responsibility to ensure that the needs of the child are catered for.

    “The Court has found that the best interest of a child is paramount and that a child needs both parents, as it is their right, especially where a parent’s incapacity has not been proven, and that both parents provide the child with significant social, psychological and health benefits,” Supreme Court’s verdict read in part.

    Besides exposing loopholes in UK’s family court findings, the apex court also ruled that the child was 18 years old and was at liberty to choose which parent to live with.

    The protracted matter saw three different countries involved where the appellant sought to assert her parental rights and the rights of her child.

    Her estranged husband won in all other rulings delivered in UK and Tanzania.

    However, the Kenyan woman moved to the Supreme Court to challenge the verdicts arguing that they had violated both her constitutional and child’s rights.

    “The Appellant contended that the first respondent (estranged husband)  had violated the child’s rights to compulsory basic education, basic nutrition, shelter, healthcare, protection from abuse and inhuman treatment, parental care and protection as guaranteed by Article 53 of the Constitution,” the ruling stated.

    A couple exchanges rings during a wedding

    A file image of a couple exchanging rings during a wedding.