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Mayela Celis

Today (25 February 2020), the US Supreme Court delivered its Opinion in the case Monasky v. Taglieri. This decision is available here.

Two of the main takeaways are:

  • A child’s habitual residence depends on the totality of the circumstances specific to the case, not on categorical requirements such as an actual agreement between the parents.
  • A first-instance habitual-residence determination is subject to deferential appellate review for clear error.

This would appear to be in line with the case law of other Contracting Parties. We expect to post a more detailed comment shortly. In the meantime, see our previous posts here –  #1, #2 and #3.

Two Legal Officer positions are open at HCCH

This week the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) announced that there are two Legal Officer vacancies and noted that their “duties will include general assistance in various areas of the work programme of the HCCH as determined by the Council on General Affairs and Policy (CGAP). Areas of priority include international commercial litigation / civil procedure and child support (maintenance) matters.”

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 25 March 2020 (12.00 a.m. CET).

More information is available here.

Internship applications are now open at HCCH

The Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH, head office in The Hague, the Netherlands) is seeking legal interns for the period July to December 2020. Applications are now open!

The deadline for applications is Friday 27 March 2020 (18:00 CET).

More information is available here.

The annual governance meeting of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) will take place from 3 to 6 March 2020. The list of documents that have been submitted to the HCCH governance body (i.e. the Council on General Affairs and Policy) is available here.

Recent documents that have not yet been mentioned in this blog that are worthy of note are the following:

In an unprecedented manner, the UK has dealt with its problems around Brexit and its relations with the Contracting States to two HCCH Conventions on the international plane. The Depositary (i.e. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) has just announced that the UK has withdrawn its instruments of ratification of the HCCH Child Support Convention and instrument of accession to the HCCH Choice of Court Convention, together with its declarations and extension to Gibraltar, which actually never came into effect and were apparently only a backup option to a no-deal Brexit; see our previous posts (“some Brexit news” part 1, part 2 and part 3 and the more recent post “Brexit: No need to stop all the clocks” here).

Written by Frédéric Breger, Legal Officer at the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH)

Volume 24 of the Judges’ Newsletter, the HCCH publication on international child protection, is now available on the HCCH website! This Volume features a Special Focus on “Urgent Measures of Protection” as provided for under Article 11 of the HCCH 1996 Child Protection Convention. Article 11 gives jurisdiction to the authorities of a Contracting Party where the child is found present – albeit not habitually resident – to take measures of protection for that child in cases of urgency. You will find in particular contributions from judges on case law rendered under Article 11 of the 1996 HCCH Child Protection Convention in various jurisdictions. This Volume is available in English only at the moment; the French version will be published in due course.

The case Monasky v. Taglieri will be argued on Wednesday 11 December 2019 at 10:00 a.m. before the US Supreme Court. As you may remember, this case deals with the determination of habitual residence under the HCCH Child Abduction Convention and may be pivotal in resolving the split in the US circuit courts. Our previous posts on this case are available here and here.

You will be able to read the transcript of the oral argument this Wednesday and listen to the audio recording of the oral argument soon thereafter.

In November 2019, there were a couple of new signatory States to the HCCH Conventions. New Zealand signed the HCCH Child Support Convention and Austria did the same with respect to the HCCH Service Convention.

These HCCH Conventions are not yet in force for New Zealand and Austria as both States would need to ratify them pursuant to the relevant articles under each Convention. Nevertheless, by signing the Conventions both States have acquired the “obligation not to defeat the object and purpose of a treaty prior to its entry into force” in accordance with Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) has posted the Conclusions & Recommendations of the “International Seminar on the Protection of Children Across Borders: The 1996 HCCH Convention on the Protection of Children” that took place in Rabat, Morocco, in mid-November 2019.

The seminar focused on discussing ways to improve the protection of children across borders in West Africa, in North Africa and in Europe. Two topics of particular interest were discussed: kafala and unaccompanied and separated children.

Today (20/11/2019) UNICEF is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention of 20 November 1989 on the Rights of the Child (UN Convention) with many events worldwide. While it is not a private international law instrument per se, many of the modern family law Conventions of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) give effect to several human rights contained therein. For example, the HCCH Child Abduction Convention gives effect to Articles 10(2) and 11 of the UN Convention and the HCCH Intercountry Adoption Convention does the same with regard to Article 21 of the UN Convention. Other Hague Conventions that contribute to this undertaking are the HCCH Protection of Children Convention and the HCCH Child Support Convention.