Disparity and the Quest for Uniformity in Implementing the Hague Abduction Convention
Journal of Comparative Law, 9:1 (2014)
46 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2015
Date Written: September 1, 2014
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction ("Abduction Convention") 1980 came into force in December 1983. A central objective of the conventions concluded under the auspices of the Hague Conference on Private International Law is to harmonize the law governing topics involving international elements. The more widely ratified the Convention, the greater the extent to which this objective appears to be realized. In this respect, the Abduction Convention can be seen as the most successful of all the Hague Conventions, with 93 Member States. However, true harmonization also requires uniformity in interpretation and implementation of the Convention.
Accordingly, this paper examines the extent to which the Abduction Convention has been applied uniformly in the various Member States over the last thirty years. The analysis concentrates on the differing interpretations given to key concepts in the Convention by courts in different jurisdictions and different approaches to the applicability of the defences in frequently recurring fact situations. However, reference is also be made to institutional and procedural differences. In addition, the paper attempts to assess the extent to which these differences reflect differing understandings of the objectives of the Convention or variations in local norms. Finally, the paper makes recommendations designed to increase the uniformity in the way in which the Abduction Convention is implemented.
Keywords: abduction, Hague Convention
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