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Call for papers – Minor’s right to information in European civil actions: Improving children’s right to information in cross-border civil cases

The right of children to receive adequate information in civil proceedings involving them represents a cornerstone of child participation, as well as a fundamental right of the child. The contact of children with the judicial system represents one of the most delicate situations where the child’s best interests and wellbeing should be of special attention. In particular, the child should receive information before, during and after the judicial proceedings, in order to have a better understanding of the situation and to be prepared either for his or her audition by the judicial authority, or for the final decision that will be taken. This aspect – as an important component of the child’s fundamental rights – should acquire (and is acquiring) importance also within the European Union, more and more oriented towards the creation of a child-friendly justice. It is a current reality that the implementation of the fundamental rights of the child influences the correct application of the EU instruments in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters.

However, the transposition of the principles and standards set at the international and regional level are not always easy to implement at the local level: despite the acknowledgement that the availability and accessibility of information is the crucial starting point for a child-friendly justice, more efforts are still to be done to effectively grant this right. International standards need to find their way into policies, legislation and daily practice.

The MiRI project (co-funded by the European Union Justice Programme 2014-2020, JUST-JCOO-AG-2018 JUST 83160) is undertaking a research on seven member States on children’s right to information in cross-border civil proceedings. The project consortium wishes to invite researchers in the field of private international family law to submit abstracts for an upcoming edited volume on the topic.

The abstract should focus on one or more of the following topics:

  • The right of the child to receive adequate information in civil proceedings (such as parental responsibility, international child abduction, maintenance, etc.) as an autonomous and fundamental right: the reconstruction of rules, principles and standards of international law.
  • The fundamental rights of the child in the European Union: the autonomous relevance of the right of the child to be informed in civil proceedings concerning him or her and its relevance for the creation of a EU child-friendly justice.
  • The relevance of children’s right to information for the EU instruments in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters (such as Regulation EC No. 2201/2003 and its recast Regulation EU No. 2019/1111, with reference to parental responsibility and international child abduction; Regulation EC No. 4/2009): how international human rights standards should influence the correct application of the aforementioned instruments? Are there common best practices in this regard among EU member States? What should be done in order to build those common best practices?
  • Rules, case law and practices currently existing in EU member States as concerns the fundamental right of the child to be informed in civil proceedings.

Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words and should be submitted by 15th March 2021 to francesca.maoli@edu.unige.it

The selection criteria will be based 1) on the relevance of the analysis in the field of EU judicial cooperation in civil matters, 2) quality of the contribution and 3) its originality. Those whose abstract will be accepted, will be notified by 30th March 2021 and will be asked to submit the full draft of the chapter (approx. between 8000-12000 words) by 30th June 2021.

Contributions will be subject to blind peer-review prior publishing. Selected authors will also be invited to present their findings during the final conference of the MiRI project in June-July 2021. More information about this event will be distributed after acceptance of the abstract.