Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ
Georgia

On 16 and 17 July 2020, IRZ and the Georgian Ministry of Justice organised an online seminar on the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, and, as an aside, on the Hague Convention of 19 October 1996 on the Protection of Children. Georgia acceded to the Hague Abduction Convention in 1998 and to the Convention on the Protection of Children in 2015. Since then, the country has made numerous efforts to implement both conventions.

The objective of the two-day seminar was to introduce the Georgian participants to the work of the German Federal Office of Justice as a central authority in connection with the Hague conventions and to provide insights into the German repatriation process in accordance with the Hague Abduction Convention. The IRZ experts taking part in the seminar were:

  • Martina Erb-Klünemann, a judge at the Local Court of Hamm and a German liaison magistrate,
  • Ulrike Kluth, an expert at the German Federal Office of Justice, where she is responsible for international child custody, child abduction and the protection of children and adults, and
  • Christian Höhn, Head of the Department of international child custody, child abduction and the protection of children and adults at the German Federal Office of Justice.

As well as clarifying procedural issues, there were also detailed lectures on the use of mediation in repatriation processes in Germany. Judge Erb-Klünemann stressed in particular the importance of mediation in repatriation processes and encouraged the participants to develop further this extremely effective means of resolving conflicts. At the same time, she also emphasised the importance of cross-border cooperation between central authorities with liaison magistrates. Judge Erb-Klünemann expressed her regret that no liaison magistrate has yet been appointed in Georgia. She suggested to her Georgian colleagues that this should be achieved as soon as possible in order to make international cooperation in this area easier.

Since there was not enough time to deal with the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children in more detail, the experts provided the participants with plenty of material on this subject. The participants said that they were in favour of continuing to work closely together in this area. IRZ will be happy to fulfil this request and plans to organise another event on mediation in Hague Convention processes before the end of the year.