Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ
Morocco and Tunisia

On 5 November 2020, IRZ and the Moroccan and Tunisian Ministries of Justice organised an online exchange of experiences on the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (HCA). Morocco acceded to the HCA in 2010. Germany has already accepted Morocco’s accession, whereas it has yet to accept Tunisia's entry to the HCA in 2017.

Around forty representatives from both countries’ Ministries of Justice and justice systems took part in the discussions. Also in attendance was a representative of the Legal and Consulate department at the Germany Embassy in Rabat.

The experts taking part in the event on behalf of IRZ were Sabine Brieger, a former judge at the Local Court of Pankow/Weißensee and a former German liaison magistrate, and Martina Erb-Klünemann, a judge at the Local Court of Hamm and a German liaison magistrate.

The participants discussed the following three main topics:

  • mechanisms and instruments in national laws on the implementation of the HCA
  • judicial repatriation processes including enforcement
  • mediation in international child abduction proceedings

There were lectures on the first two subjects to outline current developments in the countries concerned and to discuss their respective experiences. Various aspects of the practical application of the Convention were discussed. For example, the HCA provides for support by a central state authority. This function is fulfilled in Germany by the German Federal Office of Justice, whereas in Morocco and Tunisia the Ministry of Justice is responsible as the central authority in international child abduction affairs. The participants also discussed the specific nature of proceedings to comply with the HCA. Afterwards, the German participants presented the mediation approach in connection with the HCA. Mediation is not yet in use in either Morocco or Tunisia.

This regional event led to a lively and wide-ranging exchange of experiences, with many people getting involved in the discussions. Both Morocco and Tunisia have expressed their needs and interests in continuing and expanding on cooperation in this field. IRZ is therefore planning a follow-up event for next year. The exchange of experiences was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.