Safeguarding the Hague Convention after Brexit

Year Published: 2020

Concerns have been doing the rounds lately regarding the resolution of cross-border legal disputes post-Brexit. However, it appears The Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill aims to address this by effectively safeguarding the Hague Convention.

What is the Hague Convention?

The Hague Convention consists of a series of treaties created with the aim to protect children and their families against the risk of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad.

The proposed Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill will implement the Hague conventions of 1996, 2005 and 2007 into UK domestic law. Currently, we are only party to the conventions and under their protection because of our membership to the European Union. Unless implemented, this will be lost following our departure from the EU or, at the latest, upon completion of the transition period if a deal is agreed. Gavel

Considering briefly each convention, it is clear to see the protections they provide and why the Government seem keen to retain them:

  • The 1996 Hague Convention improves the protection of any children involved in cross-border disputes
  • The 2005 Hague Convention provides legal certainty in issues relating to cross-border contracts. This aims to ensure that there is certainty as to where a case is heard, and that decisions can be enforced in other countries.
  • The 2007 Hague Convention provides rules for the international recovery of child support payments and other forms of maintenance concerning family-related matters.

The main objectives of the Bill is to make it easier for people to access justice in cross-border disputes, as well as ensuring that our legal status in civil and family matters remains intact post-Brexit. The hope is that the Bill will provide the necessary certainty, stability and a clear legal framework going forward with any cross-border and family-related disputes.

If you would like more information about the Private International Law Bill, have questions about the Hague Conventions or any other family law related matter, please contact Shelley Chesworth in our family law team on 0161 475 7622 or email [email protected].

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