Under Article 15 of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction, before ordering the return of a child, the court may require the applicant to produce a decision or statement from the authorities of the country of the child’s habitual residence establishing that the removal or failure to return was impermissible within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention.
The article also provides that the Central Authorities of the Contracting States shall assist as much as possible in obtaining such a decision or declaration.
Such a request by the court is different from giving a party the task or opportunity to present evidence of the contention that the transfer or failure to return was impermissible.
Nor does the court ask for production of a previous order showing that there was custody or showing that the child was habitually resident in a particular state. The court is asking for a decision or declaration under Article 15 establishing that the removal or failure to return was impermissible within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention.
In practice, however, this does not seem to happen very often.