On March 15, Japan’s Supreme Court issued an important decision in a case arising under the Hague Convention on child abduction. Except it wasn’t about the convention, but about habeas corpus. Most press accounts have characterized the ruling as ordering that a child brought to Japan by his mother be returned to the United States, but it’s a bit more complicated.
A pitfall of comparative law is the ease with which familiar-sounding terminology can mislead. “Habeas corpus” is a prime example.