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    The comparative discussions held during this seminar show that the different jurisdictions make use of – approximately – the same ingredients for their legislation on adult guardianship measures and continuing powers of attorney. Given the common international framework (for example the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and given the common societal context (cfr. the strong increase of the ageing population) this may not come as a surprise. Despite these common ingredients, the different jurisdictions have managed to arrive at different dishes spiced with specific local flavours. Given that each jurisdiction bears its own history and specific policy plans, this may not come as a surprise either. The adage ‘same same but different’ is in this respect a suitable bromide.
    For my own research, the several invitations – that implicitly or explicitly arose from the different discussions – to rethink important concepts or assumptions were of most relevance and importance. A particular example that comes to mind is the suggestion to ‘reverse the jurisprudence’ and to take persons with disabilities instead of healthy adult persons as a point of reference. Also, the invitation to rethink the relationship between the limitation of capacity and the attribution of a guard comes to mind as the juxtaposition of the different jurisdictions showed that these two aspects don’t need to be automatically combined. Also the discussion on the interference between the continuing powers of attorney and the supervision by the court, provoked further reflection on hybrid forms of protection on my part. Finally, the ethical and medical-legal approaches may lead to a reconsideration of the traditional underlying concepts of autonomy and the assessment of capacity.


Veerle Vanderhulst Ph.D.
Veerle Vanderhulst works at the Faculty of Law and Criminology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

    Het Haags Kinderontvoeringsverdrag (HKOV) is in het leven geroepen om internationale kinderontvoering tegen te gaan en is sinds 1 september 1990 voor Nederland van kracht. Het uitgangspunt van het verdrag is dat kinderen die van de ene naar de andere Verdragsstaat ontvoerd zijn zo spoedig mogelijk dienen terug te keren naar de Staat van gewoon verblijf. De rechter van de Staat waarnaar het kind ontvoerd is kan echter van dit uitgangspunt afwijken, en derhalve een verzoek tot teruggeleiding van het ontvoerde kind afwijzen, door gebruik te maken van een van de zogenoemde weigeringsgronden die zijn neergelegd in de artikelen 12, 13 en 20 HKOV. Deze bijdrage gaat in op de wijze waarop deze weigeringsgronden de afgelopen (ruim) vijfentwintig jaar in de Nederlandse jurisprudentie zijn toegepast. Uit die jurisprudentieanalyse volgt dat de weigeringsgronden in het algemeen niet (te) ruim worden geïnterpreteerd, maar dat een beroep daarop wel degelijk succesvol kan zijn. Vanwege de casuïstische aard van internationale kinderontvoeringszaken kunnen echter niet eenvoudig één of meer combinaties van factoren worden aangewezen op grond waarvan aanstonds duidelijk is dat een teruggeleidingsverzoek zal worden afgewezen.
    The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction aims to prevent international child abduction. The Convention came into force in the Netherlands on the 1st September 1990.
    As a starting point, the Convention holds that a child abducted from one Contracting State and taken to another should be promptly returned to the country of his or her habitual residence. However, the court of the Contracting State to which a child has been abducted may depart from this rule and decide to dismiss the application for the return of the child on the basis of one of the exceptions stipulated in Articles 12, 13 or 20 of the Convention.
    This article deals with the way in which the above-mentioned provisions have been applied in Dutch case law since the Convention came into force. From the analysis of the case law it can be generally established that courts tent to interpret these exceptions rather restrictively. Nevertheless, such exceptions have still been successfully invoked. However, owing to the casuistically nature of international child abduction matters it is not possible to uncover certain combinations of factors that would definitively lead to the rejection of return of the child.


dr. mr. Geeske Ruitenberg
Geeske Ruitenberg is lecturer/researcher at the VU University Amsterdam.