Save the date: Conference ‘Families Beyond Borders. Migration with or without private international law’, Ghent University, 28 and 29 March 2019 (start 28 March at 1 pm)


On 28 and 29 March 2019, the international conference ‘Families Beyond Borders. Migration with or without private international law’ will take place in Ghent at the Faculty of Law of Ghent University (Belgium). The conference, organised by Jinske Verhellen, will focus on the challenging interactions between private international law, migration law and human rights law.

Speakers will deal with legal problems encountered by refugees and migrants with regard to their personal status acquired in one country and taken along to another country. How do people prove their family ties? How can families be reunited? How do unaccompanied refugee and migrant children prove their minority? How do asylum and migration authorities assess foreign documents that relate to the personal status of refugees? What happens if no (authentic) documents can be presented? How to combat fraud relating to personal status documents in an efficient manner without depriving migrants of their right to family life? These are just some questions that will be discussed.

The conference will put the spotlight on the ‘people’ (subject of all kinds of legal procedures). Therefore, the programme will be centred around three groups of people: persons in need of international protection, refugee and migrant children, migrants and their families. Both academics and experts with experience from the field will take and share the floor.

Ghent University is very honoured to welcome the following keynote speakers: Prof. James C. Hathaway (University of Michigan Law School) and Judge Ksenija Turkovi? (European Court of Human Rights).

Confirmed speakers and rapporteurs are: Prof. Laura Carpaneto (University of Genoa), Prof. Sabine Corneloup (Université Paris II), Judge Martina Erb Klünemann (Family Court Germany, EJN and International Hague Network of Judges), Katja Fournier (Coordinator Platform Minors in Exile), Dr. Susanne Gössl (University of Bonn), Steve Heylen (President European Association of Civil Registrars), Prof. Maarit Jänterä-Jareborg (Uppsala University), Prof. Fabienne Jault-Seseke (Université Versailles), Prof. Thalia Kruger (University of Antwerp), Lise Van Baelen (Restoring Family Links Officer, Belgian Red Cross), Dr. Hans van Loon (former Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law), Prof. Jinske Verhellen (Ghent University) and Prof. Patrick Wautelet (Université de Liège).

Prof. Jean-Yves Carlier (Université catholique Louvain) will draw the conference conclusions.

The full program and information on registration will soon be available here.