A Dutch court has cleared the way for 14-year-old Laura Dekker to pursue once more her dreaming of sailing solo around the world.


Laura Dekker, centre, sits with her father Dick Dekker, left, and her lawyer Peter de Lange during a news conference in Utrecht, Netherlands, on Aug. 24, 2009. ((Bart Muhl/Associated Press))

Family court judges in Middelburg lifted a guardianship order on the teenager that had prevented her from embarking on her voyage when she was still just 13.

Judges imposed the order in October 2009 after her father and social workers were unable to agree on preparations for her trip.

Laura's plan ignited a worldwide debate on how far parents should go in supporting or encouraging their children's improbable dreams.

"With this decision, the responsibility for Laura lies with her parents," said Judge S. Kuypers. "It is up to them to decide whether Laura can set off on her sail trip."

Both of Laura's parents, who are separated, say they support her attempt.

In December, she ran away from her father's home and travelled via Paris to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. She was spotted by St. Maarten police and returned to the Netherlands.

Tuesday's decision clears the way for the teen to pursue her goal of becoming the youngest person to sail solo around the world.

She was not in court for Tuesday's decision. Her lawyer, Peter de Lange, said she was on her boat, Guppy, and would be delighted by the decision.