It wasn’t all empty rhetoric either. We know that, because
’s Lower House unanimously approved ratification of the Convention on Tuesday. The Lower House will now consider draft legislation about how the Convention will work locally. Japan
“I give my word that we will be ratifying this Convention soon. This is an issue regarding children’s rights, something that we are serious about.”
Three working groups focusing on mediation, challenges and implementation, respectively, have now been formed to draft recommendations that will be forwarded to the relevant authorities for effective implementation of the Convention in
, once ratified. Pakistan
Pakistan is not currently a member of the Hague Abduction Convention club, it has a bilateral arrangement with the in the form of a Protocol. The Protocol was concluded in January 2003, and has been revisited twice since, in September 2003 and February 2006. UK
The Protocol is primarily concerned with child abduction cases, but cases that involve the cross‐border recognition of orders as to custody and access also fall within the “spirit”, if not the letter, of the agreement.
In terms of practical operation, the Protocol looks to appoint liaison judges in the two jurisdictions; in
England and , the liaison judge is Lord Justice Thorpe. The liaison judges are intended to work together to advance the objects of the Protocol.
But the Protocol does not (and cannot) change the underlying legal mechanisms for resolving child abduction cases between the two countries. It is at best mood music, playing in the background and seeking to inform and influence, rather than dictate, the approach to be taken in cross-border custody disputes between the two countries.
Not so the Convention: the Convention introduces a presumption that, save in limited circumstances, the unlawful taking or retention of a child across international boundaries is harmful to his or her welfare. The Convention introduces a default legal response in such situations, of returning children to the country from where they were taken.
Here’s hoping that
follow the Japanese lead, and make good on the commitment to ratify the Convention in the very near future. The more members of the club there are, the better the global response to the peccancy that is parental child abduction. Pakistan