'Please Let Me Stay': Hearing the Voice of the Child in Hague Abduction Cases
28 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2012
Date Written: January 31, 2012
A child's voice should be heard when judges are making decisions about with whom a child should live, including whether the child should be returned to the country from which he or she was abducted. This article briefly outlines the history of hearing children's voices in judicial proceedings and the movement toward traditional attorney representation for children. It reviews the mandate for hearing the child's voice under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. The article also explores the history and use of the exception to return for the objection of a mature child under The Hague Abduction Convention. The article concludes that a child's voice should indeed be heard in every Hague return case, preferably through representation by a client-directed lawyer appointed for the child.
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