Topic of the Day – Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or Hague Abduction Convention is a multilateral treaty between Australia and several other countries, developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). It provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another. As per the convention, if a child is removed from his or her place of habitual residence, then they must be returned. The Convention was drafted to ensure the prompt return of children who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence or wrongfully retained in a contracting state not their country of habitual residence. 

 

  • The Convention applies only to children under the age of 16. Such child must be a habitual resident of the contracting states.
  • 98 states are party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and only these states can file an application for the return of the child.
  • Tunisia and Jamaica are the recent signatories to accede to the convention (in 2017).
  • India is not signatory to it (as country has to have domestic law in place before it can become signatory).
  • The Australian Central Authority in the Attorney-General’s Department is responsible for administering the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

However, there are legal issues regarding the fact that who would be the final authority to decide the custody of the child in case of conflict between the judgments of the two courts. Indian law does not automatically recognise foreign judgments. Now by signing the Hague Convention, India will be compelled to recognise a foreign judgment regardless of the justness of the decision on custody under Indian law or whether was delivered ex-parte.

 

 

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