Hearings

Hearing Of The Child

The hearing of the child plays an important role in the application of this Regulation, although this instrument is not intended to modify national procedures applicable.

The hearing of the child plays an important role in the application of this Regulation, although this instrument is not intended to modify national procedures applicable.
 
Brussels IIa regulation, Article 42

Return of the child
1. The return of a child referred to in Article 40(1)(b) entailed by an enforceable judgment given in a Member State shall be recognised and enforceable in another Member State without the need for a declaration of enforceability and without any possibility of opposing its recognition if the judgment has been certified in the Member State of origin in accordance with paragraph 2. […]
2. The judge of origin who delivered the judgment [to the return of a child] shall issue the certificate referred to in paragraph 1 only if:
(a) the child was given an opportunity to be heard, unless a hearing was considered inappropriate having regard to his or her age or degree of maturity;
[…]
 
As the procedures are not clearly defined, it varies largely in the Member States from which age, by whom, with which purpose a child is heard and how the report is integrated in the court procedures. The video of the panel discussion illustrates some of the differences.

In the speech Mrs. Joanna Serdynska, European Commission, Directorate General Justice Unit A1 - Civil justice policy, stated that there have been attempts in the context of the relaunch of the Brussels IIa regulation to agree to common standards but with no final agreement. The only alternative is, that however the Member States handle the hearing of the child, it must be respected by the other Member States.

 

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