Australia: Zoltowski v Australia (HRC, 2015)

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Arkadiusz Zoltowski is a Polish national who lived in Australia on and off for many years, acquiring dual citizenship in 1983. In 2000, he married in Poland and, in 2004, they had a son, born in Poland. Their son is a dual Polish-Australian national and his mother is Belarusian-Australian.

When the boy was 2 years old, the family moved to Perth, Australia, for nearly 3 years. In October 2009, they returned to Poland with the intention of permanent relocation. Their son attended kindergarten and Mrs Zoltowski looked for work. However, Mrs Zoltowski soon expressed the wish to return to Australia. When she threatened to ‘take their son away to a place where [his father] would not find him’, Mr Zoltowski hid the boy’s Australian passport.

In February 2010, Mr Zoltowski filed for divorce and custody of their son. His wife applied for an emergency passport at the Australian embassy…

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