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International meeting addresses domestic / family violence and the 1980 Child Abduction Convention

New Guide to Good Practice on Article 13(1)(b) developed

On 12 June 2017, 57 experts attended a meeting in London, at the invitation of conference organisers, Professor Marilyn Freeman of the University of Westminster and the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), on the topic of Domestic / Family Violence and the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980 Convention). Participating experts included judges, government officials, Central Authority officials under the 1980 Convention, lawyers, mediators, psychologists, academics, researchers and members of non-governmental organisations from the following 19 jurisdictions: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland) and the United States of America, as well as European Union officials and members of the Permanent Bureau of the HCCH.

The meeting resulted in high-level, productive discussions on addressing Issues of Domestic / Family Violence and the 1980 Child Abduction Convention.

In particular, the meeting welcomed the report on the progress on a new Guide to Good Practice on Article 13(1)(b) of the 1980 Convention, which includes, but is not limited to, assertions of domestic and family violence raised under the grave risk defence. The importance of mediation as a means of achieving conditions for return and a "soft landing" for children was emphasised. The cross-border enforceability of mediated agreements and the development of a Navigational Tool on this topic under existing Hague Children's Conventions were also noted as issues and projects of interest.

The new Guide to Good Practice on Article 13(1)(b) will be compatible with different legal systems internationally, but specific States or jurisdictions may want to develop their own bench books to best address local specificities in law and practice.

For a report of this meeting, click here. For the draft Guide to Good Practice on Article 13(1)(b) of the 1980 Convention, click here.

23/7/17