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  • 1. LG 6Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Ver. KH Feb 2012
  • 2. Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction• A multi-lateral treaty• Adopted October 25,1980• There are now 84 contracting states (as of March when Gabon and Singapore joined)See - http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=conventi
  • 3. Hong Kong Child Abduction and Custody Ordinance - Cap 512• September 1, 1997• Gives the Hague Convention the force of law in Hong Kong• Makes the Department of Justice the "Centra Authority"see - http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php? act=authorities.details&aid=77
  • 4. Why are children abducted by parents?• Emotion, inability to resolve problems• Seeking revenge, to hurt• Escaping real or perceived abuse - physical, emotional• To remove child from real or perceived abuse or risk of abuse - physical, emotional, sexual
  • 5. Why are children abducted by parents? (cont’d)• Undertainty re Court outcome• Dissatisfaction with Court outcome• To return "home"• Mental illness• Other?
  • 6. What is the purpose of the Hague Convention?
  • 7. Article 1The objects of the present Convention are -a) to secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in any Contracting State; andb) to ensure that rights of custody and of access under the law of one Contracting State are effectively respected in the other Contracting States.
  • 8. When is the removal of a child wrongful?
  • 9. Article 3The removal or the retention of a child is to be considered wrongful where -a) it is in breach of rights of custody attributed to a person, an institution or any other body, either jointly or alone, under the law of the State in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal or retention; and
  • 10. Article 3 (cont’d)b) at the time of removal or retention those rights were actually exercised, either jointly or alone, or would have been so exercised but for the removal or retention. The rights of custody mentioned in sub- paragraph a) above, may arise in particular by operation of law or by reason of a judicial or administrative decision, or by reason of an agreement having legal effect under the law of that State.
  • 11. Article 5For the purposes of this Convention -a) "rights of custody" shall include rights relating to the care of the person of the child and, in particular, the right to determine the childs place of residence;b) "rights of access" shall include the right to take a child for a limited period of time to a place other than the childs habitual residence.
  • 12. Article 4The Convention shall apply to any child who washabitually resident in a Contracting Stateimmediately before any breach of custody oraccess rights. The Convention shall cease toapply when the child attains the age of 16 years.
  • 13. What do Central Authorities do?
  • 14. Article 6A Contracting State shall designate a CentralAuthority to discharge the duties which areimposed by the Convention upon suchauthorities.
  • 15. Article 7Central Authorities shall co-operate with eachother and promote co-operation amongst thecompetent authorities in their respective Statesto secure the prompt return of children and toachieve the other objects of this Convention.
  • 16. Article 7 (contd)In particular, either directly or through anyintermediary, they shall take all appropriatemeasures –a) to discover the whereabouts of a child who has been wrongfully removed or retained;
  • 17. Article 7 (contd)b) to prevent further harm to the child or prejudice to interested parties by taking or causing to be taken provisional measures;c) to secure the voluntary return of the child or to bring about an amicable resolution of the issues;
  • 18. Article 7 (contd)d) to exchange, where desirable, information relating to the social background of the child;e) to provide information of a general character as to the law of their State in connection with the application of the Convention;
  • 19. Article 7 (contd)f) to initiate or facilitate the institution of judicial or administrative proceedings with a view to obtaining the return of the child and, in a proper case, to make arrangements for organising or securing the effective exercise of rights of access;
  • 20. Article 7 (contd)g) where the circumstances so require, to provide or facilitate the provision of legal aid and advice, including the participation of legal counsel and advisers;h) to provide such administrative arrangements as may be necessary and appropriate to secure the safe return of the child;
  • 21. Article 7 (contd)i) to keep each other informed with respect to the operation of this Convention and, as far as possible, to eliminate any obstacles to its application.
  • 22. Making an Application -The application shall contain –a) information concerning the identity of the applicant, of the child and of the person alleged to have removed or retained the child;b) where available, the date of birth of the child;
  • 23. Making an Application – (cont’d)The application shall contain –c) the grounds on which the applicants claim for return of the child is based;d) all available information relating to the whereabouts of the child and the identity of the person with whom the child is presumed to be.
  • 24. Making an Application – (cont’d)The application may be accompanied orsupplemented by -e) an authenticated copy of any relevant decision or agreement;
  • 25. Making an Application – (cont’d)The application may be accompanied orsupplemented by –f) a certificate or an affidavit emanating from a Central Authority, or other competent authority of the State of the childs habitual residence, or from a qualified person, concerning the relevant law of that State;g) any other relevant document.
  • 26. Direction to Courts
  • 27. Article 16After receiving notice of a wrongful removal orretention of a child in the sense of Article 3, thejudicial or administrative authorities of theContracting State to which the child has beenremoved or in which it has been retained shall notdecide on the merits of rights of custody until it has beendetermined that the child is not to be returned under thisConvention or unless an application under thisConvention is not lodged within a reasonable timefollowing receipt of the notice.
  • 28. Article 11The judicial or administrative authorities ofContracting States shall act expeditiously inproceedings for the return of children.
  • 29. Article 11 (cont’d)If the judicial or administrative authority concernedhas not reached a decision within six weeks fromThe date of commencement of the proceedings, theapplicant or the Central Authority of the requestedState, on its own initiative or if asked by the CentralAuthority of the requesting State,
  • 30. Article 11 (cont’d)shall have the right to request a statement ofthe reasons for the delay. If a reply is received bythe Central Authority of the requested State,that Authority shall transmit the reply to theCentral Authority of the requesting State, or tothe applicant, as the case may be.
  • 31. Article 12Where a child has been wrongfully removed orretained in terms of Article 3 and, at the date ofthe commencement of the proceedings beforethe judicial or administrative authority of theContracting State where the child is, a period ofless than one year has elapsed from the date of thewrongful removal or retention, the authorityconcerned shall order the return of the childForthwith
  • 32. Article 12 (contd)The judicial or administrative authority, evenwhere the proceedings have been commencedafter the expiration of the period of one yearreferred to in the preceding paragraph, shall alsoorder the return of the child, unless it isdemonstrated that the child is now settled in itsnew environment.
  • 33. No Return of the Child if.....
  • 34. Article 13Notwithstanding the provisions of the precedingArticle, the judicial or administrative authority ofthe requested State is not bound to order thereturn of the child if the person, institution orother body which opposes its return establishesthat -
  • 35. Article 13 (cont’d)a) the person, institution or other body having the care of the person of the child was not actually exercising the custody rights at the time of removal or retention, or had consented to or subsequently acquiesced in the removal or retention; or
  • 36. Article 13 (cont’d)b) there is a grave risk that his or her return would expose the child to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation.
  • 37. Article 13 (cont’d)The judicial or administrative authority may alsorefuse to order the return of the child if it findsthat the child objects to being returned and hasattained an age and degree of maturity at whichit is appropriate to take account of its views.
  • 38. Issues1. Right of Custody2. Wrongful retention3. Habitual Residence
  • 39. Issues (cont’d)4. Allegations of abuse, "grave risk“5. View, voice of the child6. Rights of Access
  • 40. Habitual ResidenceTwo elements –1. A settled intention to stay somewhere (not necessarily permament)2. Actual residence for an appreciable amount of time...See - LM v HTS (In re N) HCMP001329/2001http://legalref.judiciary.gov.hk/lrs/common/seach/search_result_detail_frame.jsp?DIS=34230&QS%2B&TP=JU
  • 41. Right of Custody/Wrongful Retention/Habitual ResidenceSee - BLW v BWL CACV416/2006http://legalref.judiciary.gov.hk/lrs/common/seach/search_result_detail_frame.jsp?DIS=56120QS=%2B&TP=JU
  • 42. Allegations of Abuse and the Views ofthe ChildSee - P.P. v V. V. 2010 Quebec Superior Courthttp://www.canlii.org/en/qc/qccs/doc/2010/210qccs1573/2010qccs1573.html
  • 43. Convention on the Rights of the ChildArticle 31. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
  • 44. Article 91. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the childs place of residence.
  • 45. Convention on the Rights of the ChildArticle 9 (cont’d)2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.
  • 46. Convention on the Rights of the ChildArticle 9 (cont’d)3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the childs best interests.
  • 47. Article 20 of Abduction Conventionprovides -The return of the child under the provisions ofArticle 12 may be refused if this would not bepermitted by the fundamental principles of therequested State relating to the protection ofhuman rights and fundamental freedoms.
  • 48. Article 21Rights of Access An application to makearrangements for organising or securing theeffective exercise of rights of access may bepresented to the Central Authorities of theContracting States in the same way as anapplication for the return of a child.
  • 49. Article 21 (cont’d)The Central Authorities are bound by theobligations of co-operation which are set forth inArticle 7 to promote the peaceful enjoyment ofaccess rights and the fulfilment of any conditions towhich the exercise of those rights may be subject.The Central Authorities shall take steps to remove,as far as possible, all obstacles to the exercise ofsuch rights.