The right of the child to be informed and to be heard during a judgment based on the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

Di Carlo Rimini -

Article 13, paragraph 2, of the 1980 Hague Convention states that the requested court can refuse to order the child’s return if it finds that the child objects to being returned and has age and degree of maturity at which it is appropriate to take account of his/her views. It is essential to understand when the child’s will is binding. Moreover, when Regulation (EU) No. 2003/2201 applies, the Courts of the child’s habitual residence before the abduction must give the child the opportunity to be heard during the proceedings relating to parental responsibility. Their decision shall not be recognized if given without the child having the chance to be heard. Allowing the minor to be heard in the State of origin is very complex because the abducting parents certainly do not want to return with the child to the State of origin, knowing that they will not have a chance for abducting the child again after the minor is heard. The new Regulation (EU) No. 2019/1111 missed an excellent opportunity to increase the cooperation between the Member States in the matter of hearing the child.