The Council on General Affairs and Policy (CGAP) of the HCCH met from 7 to 10 March 2023. The meeting was attended by over 450 participants, representing 80 HCCH Members, 8 non-Member States, 7 intergovernmental organizations, 9 international non-governmental organizations, and members of the Permanent Bureau. The Conclusions & Decisions adopted by CGAP are now available in English and French.
In terms of work relating to possible new legislative instruments, CGAP mandated the establishment of a Working Group on private international law (PIL) matters related to legal parentage generally, including legal parentage resulting from an international surrogacy arrangement. Noting progress made by the Working Group on matters related to jurisdiction in transnational civil or commercial litigation in the development of provisions for a draft Convention, CGAP invited the convening of two further Working Group meetings. It also supported further exploratory work on the PIL implications of the digital economy, including, among other, by mandating the conduct of a study on the PIL implications of CBDCs and by endorsing the launch of the HCCH-UNIDROIT Project on Law Applicable to Cross-Border Holdings and Transfers of Digital Assets and Tokens. Across several projects, CGAP welcomed the cooperation with UNCITRAL, UNIDROIT, and WIPO, including with respect to work in the areas of digital economy, insolvency proceedings and intellectual property.
In relation to post-Convention work, CGAP approved the Toolkit to Prevent and Address Illicit Practices on Intercountry Adoption and the Model Forms for use under the 1993 Adoption Convention, mandated the development of a Template for Country Fact Sheets on available post-adoption services relating to search for origins, and mandated the establishment of a Working Group on financial aspects of intercountry adoption. CGAP also agreed upon the extension of the scope of the International Hague Network of Judges (IHNJ) to matters relating to the 2000 Protection of Adults Convention. CGAP endorsed the Conclusions & Recommendations of the recent meetings of the Special Commissions (SCs) on the practical operation of the 1993 Adoption, 2000 Protection of Adults, and 2007 Child Support Conventions, and welcomed the preparations for the upcoming meetings of the SCs on the practical operation of the 1980 Child Abduction and 1996 Child Protection Conventions, to be held in the second half of 2023, and on the practical operation of the 1965 Service, 1970 Evidence and 1980 Access to Justice Conventions. Finally, CGAP mandated the PB to continue work, in partnership with relevant subject-matter experts, and subject to available resources, to study the 2006 Securities Convention and digital developments in respect of securities markets; the interpretation of analogous institutions for the purpose of Article 2 of the 1985 Trusts Convention; and, in relation to the 2015 Choice of Law Principles, the feasibility, desirability and necessity of developing guidance on applicable law in international contracts providing protection to weaker parties.
From a good governance perspective, CGAP approved the HCCH Strategic Plan for 2023-2028. It also decided to adopt Spanish as an official language of the HCCH as of 1 July 2024. Finally, CGAP decided to recommend Dr Christophe Bernasconi to the Netherlands Standing Government Committee on Private International Law for the position of Secretary General of the HCCH for another five-year mandate.