LADY CATHERINE MEYER CASE

Perhaps one of the most extreme, poignant, and damaging cases that exemplify how article 13(b) of the Hague Convention Treaty creates a loophole for PAS, through which, in severe cases, children are lost to the alienated parents, n61 is the case of Lady Catherine Meyer.

She has written two books about her ordeal: Two Children Behind a Wall n62 and They Are My Children, Too. n63 n61 DARNALL, supra note 39, at 13, 14. n62 CATHERINE LAYLLE, TWO CHILDREN BEHIND A WALL (1997). n63 CATHERINE MEYER, THEY ARE MY CHILDREN, Too (1999).

In Sept. 1998, Lady Meyer went on to help organize, with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the first International Forum on International Child Abduction.

A few months later, again with NCMEC, Lady Meyer co-founded theInternational Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC). Lady Meyer has been invited to give evidence to committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Lady Meyer also testified before the Belgian Senate. In Mar. 2000, Lady Meyer and a group of American parents created PACT (Parents of Abducted Children Together). Their successful representation led President Clinton to raise the issue with Chancellor Schroeder of Germany on June 2, 2000.

In 1994, at the time that her two sons, Alexander (then nine years old) and Constantin (then seven years old) were abducted by her husband, Dr. Hans-Peter Volkmann, Lady Meyer was Catherine Laylle. During Catherine Laylle’s unrelenting determination to get her two sons back, she met the (then) British ambassador to Germany, Sir Christopher Meyer. As a result of the abduction of her two sons, Catherine Laylle was physically, emotionally, and financially depleted. Through Sir Meyer’s efforts to help Catherine Laylle, the two became very close. When Sir Meyer was offered the post of British ambassador to the United States, Catherine Laylle joined him in Washington as his wife and became Lady Catherine Meyer.

This case history began in 1984, when Lady Meyer (who is of French-Russian descent) married a German medical doctor, Volkmann, in London. Their first son, Alexander, was born in London a year later. Their second son, Constantin, was born in Germany in 1987. The marriage broke up in 1992, and the couple were legally separated. The children lived in London with Lady Meyer and visited their father during their school holidays.

On 6 July 1994, the children left for their summer holidays with their father. Without warning, four days before they were due to return to London, Dr. Volkmann announced that he was not 13 sending them back to England. He then disappeared with the boys. n65 Lady Meyer received a twenty-one-page letter from Dr. Volkmann, which stated in pertinent part, click here to read the full story http://www.gpdg.co.uk/pact_old/pdf/pas.pdf

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