Conference: Avoiding enforcement struggles: How mediation can help implement decisions in cross-border family disputes concerning children




26th - 27th February 2015

Thon Europe Hotel – Rue de la Loi 51 - 1000 Brussels

Each year, thousands of children worldwide are affected by cross-border family disputes.These disputes, if not solved appropriately, can threaten the children’s rights to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents. Recognising the advantages of resolving crossborder family disputes amicably, the relevant Hague Conventions and European legal instruments encourage the use of mediation and similar means.

Mediation can be useful at all stages of a family conflict: it can help to avoid the escalation of the dispute at an early stage; it can be used prior to court proceedings and while court proceedings are pending. But mediation can also be of considerable assistance when it comes to the implementation of a court decision rendered in a cross-border family conflict. When a parent refuses to comply with a decision on cross-border parent-child contact or, in the case of international child abduction, with the decision ordering the return of the child to the State of habitual residence, professionals involved in the enforcement process often face a dilemma: swift and efficient enforcement is necessary to protect the best interests of the child, however coercive measures risk traumatising the child.

Child Focus (Belgium), MiKK (Germany), the Family Mediation Centre (Greece) and Asociación Madrileña de Mediadores (Spain) joined forces with the Cross-border Family Mediators’ Network to create a mediation model assisting families in overcoming obstacles in the implementation of court decisions in cross-border family conflicts in cooperation with judicial, legal, mediation, and law enforcement representatives, as well as in consultation with the Hague Conference on Private International Law and a number of Central Authorities under the relevant Hague Conventions. With this conference, project partners wish to address the challenges of mediation in the enforcement process. The conference will highlight the legal and psychological difficulties faced by families and professionals during the enforcement phase of decisions and show how mediation can help within the narrow and well-defined boundaries of this phase. The conference aims to bring together professionals from different countries and professions such as lawyers, judges, bailiffs, family mediators, child expert etc. working in the field.

Download the full programme here: mediation_cross-border family .pdf

Register by downloading the form here: Registration Form.doc

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