Vardags lawyers Catherine Thomas, Neil Graham, Olivia Buchan and Charlotte Sanders all travelled to the Netherlands between 7th and 10th May 2014 to attend the LEPCA (Lawyers in Europe on Parental Child Abduction) Hague Conference at the Peace Palace in The Hague. The conference was attended by the global leading practitioners in child abduction and child relocation law.
As delegates of the event, the members of the Vardags team took part in plenary sessions with senior members of the International Child Abduction Center, the European Commission and Eurojust. In addition they polished their legal knowhow by attending interactive seminar sessions on a variety of topics including: ‘The application of the grounds of refusal’, ‘The Brussels II bis Regulation in relation to the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention’, ‘The practical challenges of the enforcement of return orders’, ‘The interaction between criminal law and civil law in international parental child abduction cases’, Mediation and abduction’, ‘The role of the Central Authority’, ‘Relocation and Case law’ and a session on the newest and most important case law with regards to child abduction and relocation.
The conference was a resounding success and provided a forum in which the global experts in child abduction could meet and discuss the many complicated facets to child abduction and relocation cases. The conference concluded in a group session in which all delegates were offered the opportunity to provide their feedback on the conclusions that had been drawn from the various discussions held in the interactive seminar sessions.
The conclusions were drafted by LEPCA throughout the conference and will provide the basis on which legislative changes, the drafting of secondary legislation and the application of the convention in practice.