The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Abbott v. Abbott[1] resolved an important issue about the scope of the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Child Abduction Convention).[2] A six-vote majority ruled in favor of an expansive reading of the Convention that increases the power of an objecting parent in cases where a child is brought to the United States against that parent’s wishes. Even more significantly, the majority indicated a disposition toward interpreting multilateral private law treaties in a manner that emphasizes the systemic interests of treaty partners, as expressed through foreign court decisions, scholarly work organized by international bodies, and the views of the U.S. Department of State.

Paul B. Stephan, Abbott v. Abbott: A New Take on Treaty Interpretation by the Supreme Court, ASIL Insights (August 4, 2010).