Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000


Number 37 of 2000


PROTECTION OF CHILDREN (HAGUE CONVENTION) ACT 2000

REVISED

Updated to 10 September 2019


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including the Judicial Council Act 2019 (33/2019), enacted 23 July 2019, and all statutory instruments up to and including the Protection Of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000 (Section 15) Order 2019 (S.I. No. 458 of 2019), made 10 September 2019, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 37 of 2000


PROTECTION OF CHILDREN (HAGUE CONVENTION) ACT 2000

REVISED

Updated to 10 September 2019


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was passed.

Related legislation

Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts 1961 to 2017: this Act is one of a group of Acts included in this collective citation, to be construed together as one ( Courts Act 2017 (8/2017), s. 4(2)). The Acts in this group are:

Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961 (39/1961), citation only

Courts (Supplemental Provisions) (Amendment) Act 1962 (18/1962), citation only

Courts (Supplemental Provisions) (Amendment) Act 1964 (9/1964), citation only

Courts Act 1964 (11/1964)

Courts (Supplemental Provisions) (Amendment) Act 1968 3/1968

Courts (Supplemental Provisions) (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1968 (21/1968), citation only

Courts Act 1971 (36/1971)

Courts Act 1973 (26/1973)

Courts Act 1977 (11/1977)

Oireachtas (Allowances To Members) and Ministerial, Parliamentary and Judicial Offices (Amendment) Act 1977 (29/1977), Part IV (ss. 10, 11), citation only

Courts Act 1979 (15/1979)

Courts Act 1981 (11/1981), citation only

Courts (No. 2) Act 1981 (31/1981)

Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) and Ministerial, Parliamentary and Judicial Offices (Amendment) Act 1983 (32/1983), in so far as it amends the collectively cited Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts 1961 to 1981, citation only

Courts Act 1985 (23/1985)

Courts Act 1986 (1/1986), citation only

Courts (No. 2) Act 1986 (26/1986) other than ss. 4 , 6, 7 and the First Schedule in so far as it relates to the law on intoxicating liquor

Courts (No. 3) Act 1986 (33/1986)

Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments (European Communities) Act 1988 (3/1988) collective construction only of ss. 5-8, 11, 12, 14

Courts Act 1988 (14/1988)

Courts (No. 2) Act 1988 (34/1988)

Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act 1991 (6/1991), collective construction only insofar as it affects the jurisdiction or procedure of any court in the State

Courts Act 1991 (20/1991)

Courts Act 1991 (21/1991)

Courts (Supplemental Provisions) (Amendment) Act 1991 (23/1991), in so far as it amends or extends the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts 1961 to 1988

Courts and Court Officers Act 1995 (31/1995)

Courts Act 1996 (26/1996)

Courts Act 1997 (6/1997)

Courts (No. 2) Act 1997 (43/1997), other than ss. 3, 9

Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) and Ministerial, Parliamentary, Judicial and Court Offices (Amendment) Act 1998 (5/1998), in so far as it amends or extends the collectively cited Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts 1961 to 1998

Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments Act 1998 (52/1998), ss. 7-10, 13, 14, 16, 20A, 20E-20H, 20J, 20K, 20M

Courts (Supplemental Provisions) (Amendment) Act 1999 (25/1999) in so far as it amends or extends the collectively cited Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts 1961 to 1998

Courts (Supplemental Provisions) (Amendment) Act 2000 (15/2000) insofar as it amends the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts 1961 to 2000

Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000 (37/2000), ss. 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11 and 12

Courts and Court Officers Act 2002 (15/2002)

Courts and Court Officers (Amendment) Act 2003 (36/2003), citation only

Courts and Court Officers (Amendment) Act 2007 (4/2007), citation only

Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008 (14/2008), ss. 9, 11-13, 20-23

Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments (Amendment) Act 2012 (7/2012)

Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012 (37/2012), ss. 65, 66, citation only

Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 (32/2013), s. 17, citation only

Court of Appeal Act 2014 (18/2014), to the extent that it amends or extends the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts 1961 to 2013

Choice of Court (Hague Convention) Act 2015 (38/2015), ss. 5-9

Courts Act 2015 (51/2015) citation only

Courts Act 2017 (8/2017)

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1972, may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (9/2015)

Health Act 2004 (42/2004)

All Acts up to and including Judicial Council Act 2019 (33/2019), enacted 23 July 2019, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

Protection Of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000 (Section 15) Order 2019 (S.I. No. 458 of 2019)

Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000 (Section 15) Order 2010 (S.I. No. 682 of 2010)

Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000 (Commencement) Order 2010 (S.I. No. 650 of 2010)

European Communities (Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and Matters of Parental Responsibility) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 112 of 2005)

All statutory instruments up to and including Protection Of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000 (Section 15) Order 2019 (S.I. No. 458 of 2019), made 10 September 2019, were considered in the preparation of this revision.


Number 37 of 2000


PROTECTION OF CHILDREN (HAGUE CONVENTION) ACT 2000

REVISED

Updated to 10 September 2019


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Interpretation.

2.

Convention to have force of law.

3.

Application of Convention in the State.

4.

Exercise of jurisdiction.

5.

Interpretation of Convention.

6.

Provision of certain court documents.

7.

Evidence in proceedings.

8.

Letters of request.

9.

Central Authority.

10.

Provision of reports.

11.

Rules of court.

12.

Saving.

13.

Transitional provision.

14.

Regulations.

15.

Orders evidencing entry into force of Convention, etc.

16.

Laying of regulations and orders before Houses of Oireachtas.

17.

Amendment of Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act, 1991.

18.

Expenses.

19.

Short title, commencement, construction and collective citation.

SCHEDULE

Text of the Hague Convention of 19 October, 1996, on jurisdiction, apllicable law, recognition, enforecement and co-operation in respect of parental responsibility and measures operation in respect of parental responsibility and measures for the protection of children


Acts Referred to

Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act, 1991

1991, No. 6

Child Care Act, 1991

1991, No. 17

Children Act, 1997

1997, No. 40

Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts, 1961 to 2000

Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964

1964, No. 7

Judical Separation and Family Law Reform Act, 1989

1989, No. 6


Number 37 of 2000


PROTECTION OF CHILDREN (HAGUE CONVENTION) ACT 2000

REVISED

Updated to 10 September 2019


AN ACT TO GIVE THE FORCE OF LAW TO THE CONVENTION ON JURISDICTION, APPLICABLE LAW, RECOGNITION, ENFORCEMENT AND CO-OPERATION IN RESPECT OF PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY AND MEASURES FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN, SIGNED AT THE HAGUE ON THE 19th DAY OF OCTOBER, 1996, TO AMEND SECTIONS 14 AND 30 OF THE CHILD ABDUCTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF CUSTODY ORDERS ACT, 1991, AND TO PROVIDE FOR CONSEQUENTIAL AND RELATED MATTERS. [16 th December, 2000]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Application of collectively cited Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts 1961 to 1997 restricted (13.07.1999) by Courts (Supplemental Provisions) (Amendment) Act 1999 (25/1999), s. 1, commenced on enactment.

Provisions relating to pensions in specified cases.

1.—(1) Notwithstanding any provision contained in—

(a) the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts, 1961 to 1997, or, in so far as it amends or extends those Acts, the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) and Ministerial, Parliamentary, Judicial and Court Offices (Amendment) Act, 1998, or

(b) the Court Officers Acts, 1926 to 1998,

but subject to the provisions referred to in section 2 of this Act, the payment of pensions in respect of each of the persons specified in paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (2) of this section (in this section referred to as “the specified persons”) shall be governed solely by the provisions in this section.

...

C2

Application of collectively cited Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961 to 1991 restricted (16.07.1991) by Courts (Supplemental Provisions) (Amendment) Act 1991 (23/1991), s. 5(2), commenced on enactment.

Provision of pensions on early vacation of office and purchase of added years.

5.— ...

(2) Where a payment of a sum is made by the Minister pursuant to regulations made under subsection (1) (e) of this section no pension or gratuity shall be granted under the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts, 1961 to 1991, or under regulations made thereunder to or in respect of the person to whom the payment relates.

...

Editorial Notes:

E1

Proceedings under Act included in definition of “family law proceedings” (1.01.2018) by Mediation Act 2017 (27/2017), s. 2, S.I. No. 591 of 2017.

E2

Certain functions under or in connection with Act transferred to HSE (1.01.2005) by Health Act 2004 (42/2004), s. 59 and sch. 3 item 34, S.I. No. 887 of 2004.

Interpretation.

1

1.—(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“another contracting state” means a contracting state other than the State;

“Article”, in relation to a numbered Article, means the Article so numbered of the Convention and reference to a subdivision of a numbered Article shall be construed accordingly;

“Central Authority” shall be construed in accordance with section 9 ;

“child” shall be construed by reference to Article 2;

“contracting state” means a state (other than any state to whose accession to the Convention the State may have raised an objection pursuant to Article 58.3) in respect of which the Convention has entered into force in accordance with Article 61 and shall be construed so that this Act shall have effect in relation to—

( a) in case a contracting state has declared pursuant to Article 59.1 that the Convention shall extend to one or more territorial units within that state, the territorial unit or units concerned, and

( b) each other contracting state;

“the Convention” means the Convention on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition, enforcement and co-operation in respect of parental responsibility and measures for the protection of children, signed at the Hague on the 19th day of October, 1996;

F1 [ Council Regulation means Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003; ]

“decision” means a decision (other than a judgment) which is directed to the protection of the person or property of a child and is made pursuant to the Child Care Act, 1991, or by a duly authorised person or body in another contracting state pursuant to the law of that state;

“judgment” means a judgment or order which is directed to the protection of the person or property of a child and is made either by a court in the State or by a competent judicial or administrative authority of another contracting state;

“measure” means a judgment or decision which is made in accordance with Chapter II of the Convention, and references to the taking of a measure shall be construed as references to the making of such a judgment or decision;

“the Minister” means the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform;

“probation and welfare officer” means a person appointed by the Minister to be a probation and welfare officer or to be a probation officer or a welfare officer.

(2) In this Act—

( a) a reference to a section is to a section of this Act, unless it is indicated that a reference to some other enactment is intended,

( b) a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph is to the subsection, paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that a reference to some other provision is intended, and

( c) a reference to any enactment shall be construed as a reference to that enactment as amended, adapted or extended by or under any subsequent enactment.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F1

Inserted (1.03.2005) by European Communities (Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and Matters of Parental Responsibility) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 112 of 2005), reg. 10(a).

Convention to have force of law.

2

2.—(1) Subject to the provisions of F2 [ the Council Regulation and this Act ], the Convention shall have the force of law in the State.

(2) Judicial notice shall be taken of the Convention.

(3) The text, in the English language, of the Convention is set out for convenience of reference in the Schedule to this Act.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F2

Substituted (1.03.2005) by European Communities (Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and Matters of Parental Responsibility) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 112 of 2005), reg. 10(b).

Application of Convention in the State.

3

3.—(1) For the purposes of the application in the State of the Convention the provisions set out in subsection (2) shall have effect.

(2) ( a) References in the Convention to authorities or authority, however qualified, shall be construed, where they occur—

(i) in Chapter II of the Convention, as including references to the appropriate court,

(ii) in Articles 24, 25 and 28, as references to the District Court,

(iii) in Articles 32, 33, 34, 35.1, 36 and 37, as including references to the appropriate court, and

(iv) in Article 35.2, as including a reference to the District Court.

( b) In proceedings under Chapter IV of the Convention for the recognition, enforcement or non-recognition of a measure taken in another contracting state the District Court shall pursuant to that Chapter and subject to paragraph (g) , if applicable—

(i) if the request is for the recognition or enforcement of the measure, order either—

(I) that the measure be recognised or enforced in whole or in part, subject to any necessary modifications or adaptations, or

(II) that the request be refused,

or

(ii) if the request is for the non-recognition of the measure, order either—

(I) that the measure not be recognised, or

(II) that it be recognised or enforced in whole or in part, subject to any necessary modifications or adaptations.

( c) A measure in respect of which an order has been made under subparagraph (i)(I) or (ii)(II) of paragraph (b) shall, to the extent to which recognition or enforcement of the measure is authorised by the order, be of the same force and effect as if it were an order of the District Court.

( d) On the hearing of a request under Article 35.2 by a parent residing in the State who is seeking to obtain or maintain access to his or her child (being a child who does not habitually reside therein), the District Court shall by order declare either—

(i) that in its opinion the person is suitable to exercise access to the child (in which case the Court may, where appropriate, specify the conditions under which access should be exercised), or

(ii) that the person is not suitable to exercise access to the child.

( e) F3 [ ]

( f) If, pursuant to Article 55.1 a, the State has reserved the jurisdiction of its authorities to take measures directed to the protection of property (or certain categories of property) of a child situated on its territory in cases where those authorities would not otherwise have jurisdiction under the Convention, then, for so long as the reservation has not been withdrawn, the appropriate courts shall in those cases have the jurisdiction so reserved.

( g) If, pursuant to Article 55.1 b, the State has reserved the right not to recognise any parental responsibility or measure in so far as it is incompatible with any measure taken by its authorities in relation to any such property or categories of property mentioned in paragraph (f), then, for so long as the reservation has not been withdrawn, the District Court may refuse recognition of any such parental responsibility or measure to the extent that it is so incompatible.

( h) Subject to Article 52 and, if applicable, paragraph (f), any enactment or rule of law to the extent that it confers jurisdiction on a court otherwise than in accordance with the Convention to take measures directed to the protection of the person or property of a child who is habitually resident in a contracting state shall cease to have effect.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F3

Deleted (18.01.2016) by Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (9/2015), s. 179, S.I. No. 12 of 2016.

Exercise of jurisdiction.

4

4.—(1) The jurisdiction of the Circuit Court or District Court under the Convention may be exercised—

( a) in proceedings to which Chapter II of the Convention relates, by the judge of the Circuit Court or District Court who has jurisdiction in such proceedings under the law for the time being in force,

( b) in any application—

(i) under Chapter IV of the Convention for the recognition, enforcement or non-recognition of a measure, or

(ii) under Article 35.2 for a finding on the suitability of a parent to exercise access to his or her child and on the conditions under which access is to be exercised,

by the judge of the District Court for the time being assigned to the district court district in which the applicant or defendant resides,

( c) in relation to a request to either Court under Article 32 b, 34.1 or 35.1, by the judge of the Circuit Court or District Court for the time being assigned to the circuit or the district court district in which the child to whom the request relates resides.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), in any case of urgency the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court or District Court as respects the proceedings mentioned in that subsection may be exercised by any judge of the Circuit Court or District Court if he or she is of opinion that the best interests of the child concerned require that the jurisdiction be so exercised.

(3) In any case not provided for by the foregoing provisions of this section the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court or District Court under the Convention may be exercised by a circuit judge assigned to the Dublin circuit or a district judge assigned to the Dublin Metropolitan District.

(4) Sections 33(1), 33(2) and 45 (which provisions relate to the conduct of family proceedings) of the Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act, 1989 , shall apply and have effect in relation to an application under subsection (1)(b).

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C3

“Dublin Circuit” construed (1.01.1994, establishment day) by Local Government (Dublin) Act 1993 (31/1993), s. 26, S.I. Nos. 400, 401 of 1993.

Circuit Court Circuit.

26.—On and from the establishment day the Dublin Circuit Court Circuit shall consist of the county borough of Dublin and the counties of South Dublin, Fingal and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and a reference to the Dublin Circuit in the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts, 1961 to 1991, shall be construed accordingly.

Interpretation of Convention.

5

5.—(1) Judicial notice shall be taken of relevant judgments of courts of other contracting states concerning provisions of the Convention and a court shall, when applying and interpreting its provisions, pay due account to the principles laid down by those judgments.

(2) Judicial notice shall also be taken of the report by Professor Paul Lagarde on the Convention, a copy of which has been placed in the Oireachtas Library, and that report may be considered by any court when interpreting any provision of the Convention and shall be given such weight as is appropriate in the circumstances.

Provision of certain court documents.

6

6.—As respects a measure taken by a court in the State, the registrar or clerk of the court shall, at the request of a person who wishes to make an application under the Convention in another contracting state and subject to any conditions that may be specified by rules of court, give to the person all or any of the following documents:

( a) a copy of the measure duly authenticated,

( b) a certificate signed by the registrar or clerk of the court stating—

(i) the nature of the proceedings,

(ii) the Article of the Convention by virtue of which the Court assumed jurisdiction,

(iii) the date on which the time for lodging an appeal against the measure will expire or, if it has expired, the date on which it expired,

(iv) whether notice of appeal against the measure, or (in case the measure was taken in default of appearance) a notice to set it aside, has been entered,

(v) whether the measure was taken in a case of urgency,

(vi) if the measure was not so taken, that the court has taken such account of the wishes of the child concerned as it thought appropriate and practicable having regard to the child's age and understanding, and

(vii) such other particulars (if any) as may be specified by rules of court,

( c) in case the measure (other than a measure taken on an application made ex parte) was taken in default of appearance, the original or a copy, certified by the registrar or clerk of the court to be a true copy, of a document establishing that notice of the institution of the proceedings was served on the person in default.

Evidence in proceedings.

7

7.—(1) Any document purporting to be a document forwarded or delivered under the Convention may be admitted as evidence that it is such a document and as evidence of any matter to which it relates, subject to such authentication, if any, as the court may require.

(2) A document purporting to be—

( a) a translation of a document mentioned in subsection (1), and

( b) certified as correct by a person competent to do so,

may be admitted as evidence of the translation.

(3) ( a) Where a document is admissible in evidence by virtue of subsection (1) or (2), it may be given in evidence, whether or not the document is still in existence, by producing a copy of the document, or of the material part of it, authenticated in such manner as the court may approve.

( b) For the purposes of paragraph (a) the copy produced may be at more than one remove from the original, and that copy and any intermediate copy may have been made by any means, including facsimile transmission.

(4) Without prejudice to subsections (1) and (3)(a), a document purporting to be a copy of a measure taken by a competent authority of another contracting state shall, for the purposes of this Act, be regarded as being duly authenticated if it purports—

( a) to bear the seal of the authority, or

( b) to be certified by a person in his or her capacity as a judge or officer of the authority to be a true copy of a measure taken by it.

Letters of request.

8

8.—A court may, either directly or with the assistance of the Central Authority, address letters of request for the purposes of Article 8 or 9 to the appropriate authority in another contracting state.

Central Authority.

9

9.—(1) The Minister may by order appoint a Central Authority (“the Central Authority”) to perform in the State the functions conferred on it by this Act or by virtue of the Convention.

(2) Pending the appointment of the Central Authority the Minister shall perform its functions, and references in this Act to the Central Authority shall be construed accordingly.

(3) The Minister may by order amend or revoke an order made under this section (including an order under this subsection).

Provision of reports.

10

10.—The Central Authority, if requested pursuant to Article 31, 32 or 34 to provide information relating to a child, may, without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred on it by this Act, request—

( a) a probation and welfare officer to make a report to it in writing with respect to any matter relating to the child which appears to it to be relevant,

( b) a health board to arrange for a suitably qualified person to make such a report to it,

( c) the registrar or clerk of any court to which a written report relating to the child has been made to send it a copy of the report, or

( d) any holder of a public office or body financed wholly or partly by means of moneys provided by the Oireachtas to provide it with any information in the possession or procurement of the holder or body which would assist in discovering the whereabouts of the child,

and any such request shall be duly complied with.

Rules of court.

11

11.—Rules of court may make provision for the expeditious hearing of proceedings under the Convention.

Saving.

12

12.—Nothing in this Act shall affect—

( a) the application in the State, subject to section 17 , of the Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act, 1991 , or

( b) any jurisdiction—

(i) apart from that provided for in Articles 11 and 12, of a court to take measures directed to the protection of the person or property of a child who is not habitually resident in a contracting state, or

(ii) of a court to order the recognition, enforcement or non-recognition of measures which are directed to the protection of the person or property of a child and which have been taken by the authorities of a non-contracting state.

Transitional provision.

13

13.—Nothing in this Act shall affect any proceedings which were instituted before the commencement of any relevant provision of this Act and relate to measures within the scope of the Convention.

Regulations.

14

14.—The Minister may make regulations for the purpose of giving effect to this Act.

Orders evidencing entry into force of Convention, etc.

15

15.—(1) The Minister for Foreign Affairs may by order—

( a) declare:

(i) that in accordance with Article 61.1 the Convention entered or will enter into force for the specified states concerned on a specified date,

(ii) that in accordance with Article 61.2 the Convention entered or will enter into force for a specified state or territorial unit on a specified date,

(iii) that pursuant to Article 58.3 an objection has been raised by a specified contracting state to the accession of a specified state to the Convention,

(iv) that pursuant to Article 59.1 a declaration has been made by a specified contracting state that the Convention shall extend to all its territorial units or only to one or more than one of them to be specified,

(v) that pursuant to Article 62.1 a specified contracting state has denounced the Convention and that the denunciation took effect, or will take effect, on a specified date,

(vi) (I) pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 34, that request under paragraph 1 of that Article to any authority in the State which has information relevant to the protection of a child shall be communicated to that authority only through the Central Authority,

(II) that pursuant to the said paragraph 2 a declaration has been made by another specified contracting state that requests under the said paragraph 1 to an authority in that contracting state shall be communicated only through its central authority,

(vii) that pursuant to Article 39 an agreement (the text or a translation of which shall be set out in the order) has been entered into between specified contracting states,

(viii) (I) that pursuant to Article 54.2 or 55 a reservation (the text or a translation of which shall be set out in the order) has been made by a specified contracting state,

(II) that pursuant to Article 60.2 a reservation so made has been withdrawn and that it ceased, or will cease, to have effect on a specified date,

and

( b) designate:

(i) pursuant to paragraph 3 of Article 40 the persons or bodies competent to draw up the certificate mentioned in paragraph 1 of that Article,

(ii) pursuant to Article 44 the authorities within the State to which requests under Article 8, 9 or 33 should be addressed.

(2) An order that is in force under subsection (1) shall be evidence of the matters stated therein.

(3) The Minister for Foreign Affairs may be order amend or revoke an order under this section (including an order under this subsection).

Annotations:

Editorial Notes:

E3

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (10.09.2019) by Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000 (Section 15) Order 2019 (S.I. No. 458 of 2019).

E4

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2011) by Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000 (Section 15) Order 2010 (S.I. No. 682 of 2010), in effect as per art. 6.

Laying of regulations and orders before Houses of Oireachtas.

16

16.—Every regulation and order under this Act (except an order under section 19(2) ) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the regulation or order is passed by either such House within the next subsequent 21 days on which that House has sat after the regulation or order is laid before it, the regulation or order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

Amendment of Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act, 1991.

17

17.—The Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act, 1991 , is hereby amended by the insertion after section 36 of the following section:

“Obtaining information as to whereabouts of child.

36A.—The Central Authority in the State may, for the purposes of obtaining any information that is necessary or expedient for the performance of its functions under Article 7( a) of the Hague Convention or, as may be appropriate, Article 5.1. a of the Luxembourg Convention, require any holder of a public office or body financed wholly or partly by means of monies provided by the Oireachtas to provide it with any information in the possession or procurement of the holder or body which would assist in discovering the whereabouts of a child and any such request shall be duly complied with.”.

Expenses.

18

18.—The expenses incurred in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Short title, commencement, construction and collective citation.

19

19.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act, 2000 .

(2) This Act shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister shall appoint by order or orders either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so fixed for different purposes and different provisions.

(3) The Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts, 1961 to 2000, and sections 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11 and 12 may be cited together as the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts, 1961 to 2000, and shall be construed together as one.

Annotations:

Editorial Notes:

E5

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2011) by Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000 (Commencement) Order 2010 (S.I. No. 650 of 2010).

2. The 1st day of January 2011 is appointed as the day on which the Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000 (No. 37 of 2000) shall come into operation.

SCHEDULE

Text of the Hague Convention of 19 October, 1996, on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition, enforcement and co-operation in respect of parental responsibility and measures for the protection of children

The States signatory to the present Convention.

Considering the need to improve the protection of children in international situations,

Wishing to avoid conflicts between their legal systems in respect of jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of measures for the protection of children,

Recalling the importance of international co-operation for the protection of children,

Confirming that the best interests of the child are to be a primary consideration,

Noting that the Convention of 5 October 1961 concerning the powers of authorities and the law applicable in respect of the protection of minors is in need of revision,

Desiring to establish common provisions to this effect, taking into account the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 20 November 1989,

Have agreed on the following provisions—

Chapter I — scope of the convention

Article 1

1. The objects of the present Convention are—

a    to determine the State whose authorities have jurisdiction to take measures directed to the protection of the person or property of the child;

b    to determine which law is to be applied by such authorities in exercising their jurisdiction;

c    to determine the law applicable to parental responsibility;

d    to provide for the recognition and enforcement of such measures of protection in all Contracting States;

e    to establish such co-operation between the authorities of the Contracting States as may be necessary in order to achieve the purposes of this Convention.

2. For the purposes of this Convention, the term ‘parental responsibility’ includes parental authority, or any analogous relationship of authority determining the rights, powers and responsibilities of parents, guardians or other legal representatives in relation to the person or the property of the child.

Article 2

The Convention applies to children from the moment of their birth until they reach the age of 18 years.

Article 3

The measures referred to in Article 1 may deal in particular with—

a    the attribution, exercise, termination or restriction of parental responsibility, as well as its delegation;

b    rights of custody, including rights relating to the care of the person of the child and, in particular, the right to determine the child's place of residence, as well as rights of access including the right to take a child for a limited period of time to a place other than the child's habitual residence;

c    guardianship, curatorship and analogous institutions;

d    the designation and functions of any person or body having charge of the child's person or property, representing or assisting the child;

e    the placement of the child in a foster family or in institutional care, or the provision of care by kafala or an analogous institution;

f    the supervision by a public authority of the care of a child by any person having charge of the child;

g    the administration, conservation or disposal of the child's property.

Article 4

The Convention does not apply to—

a    the establishment or contesting of parent-child relationship;

b    decisions on adoption, measures preparatory to adoption, or the annulment or revocation of adoption;

c    the name and forenames of the child;

d    emancipation;

e    maintenance obligations;

f    trusts or succession;

g    social security;

h    public measures of a general nature in matters of education or health;

i    measures taken as a result of penal offences committed by children;

j    decisions on the right of asylum and on immigration.

Chapter II — jurisdiction

Article 5

1. The judicial or administrative authorities of the Contracting State of the habitual residence of the child have jurisdiction to take measures directed to the protection of the child's person or property.

2. Subject to Article 7, in case of a change of the child's habitual residence to another Contracting State, the authorities of the State of the new habitual residence have jurisdiction.

Article 6

1. For refugee children and children who, due to disturbances occurring in their country, are internationally displaced, the authorities of the Contracting State on the territory of which these children are present as a result of their displacement have the jurisdiction provided for in paragraph 1 of Article 5.

2. The provisions of the preceding paragraph also apply to children whose habitual residence cannot be established.

Article 7

1. In case of wrongful removal or retention of the child, the authorities of the Contracting State in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal or retention keep their jurisdiction until the child has acquired a habitual residence in another State, and

a    each person, institution or other body having rights of custody has acquiesced in the removal or retention; or

b    the child has resided in that other State for a period of at least one year after the person, institution or other body having rights of custody has or should have had knowledge of the whereabouts of the child, no request for return lodged within that period is still pending, and the child is settled in his or her new environment.

2. The removal or the retention of a child is to be considered wrongful where—

a    it is in breach of rights of custody attributed to a person, an institution or any other body, either jointly or alone, under the law of the State in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal or retention; and

b    at the time of removal or retention those rights were actually exercised, either jointly or alone, or would have been so exercised but for the removal or retention.

The rights of custody mentioned in sub-paragraph a above, may arise in particular by operation of law or by reason of a judicial or administrative decision, or by reason of an agreement having legal effect under the law of that State.

3. So long as the authorities first mentioned in paragraph 1 keep their jurisdiction, the authorities of the Contracting State to which the child has been removed or in which he or she has been retained can take only such urgent measures under Article 11 as are necessary for the protection of the person or property of the child.

Article 8

1. By way of exception, the authority of a Contracting State having jurisdiction under Article 5 or 6, if it considers that the authority of another Contracting State would be better placed in the particular case to assess the best interests of the child, may either

—  request that other authority, directly or with the assistance of the Central Authority of its State, to assume jurisdiction to take such measures of protection as it considers to be necessary, or

—  suspend consideration of the case and invite the parties to introduce such a request before the authority of that other State.

2. The Contracting States whose authorities may be addressed as provided in the preceding paragraph are

a    a State of which the child is a national,

b    a State in which property of the child is located,

c    a State whose authorities are seised of an application for divorce or legal separation of the child's parents, or for annulment of their marriage,

d    a State with which the child has a substantial connection.

3. The authorities concerned may proceed to an exchange of views.

4. The authority addressed as provided in paragraph 1 may assume jurisdiction, in place of the authority having jurisdiction under Article 5 or 6, if it considers that this is in the child's best interests.

Article 9

1. If the authorities of a Contracting State referred to in Article 8, paragraph 2, consider that they are better placed in the particular case to assess the child's best interests, they may either

—  request the competent authority of the Contracting State of the habitual residence of the child, directly or with the assistance of the Central Authority of that State, that they be authorised to exercise jurisdiction to take the measures of protection which they consider to be necessary, or

—  invite the parties to introduce such a request before the authority of the Contracting State of the habitual residence of the child.

2. The authorities concerned may proceed to an exchange of views.

3. The authority initiating the request may exercise jurisdiction in place of the authority of the Contracting State of the habitual residence of the child only if the latter authority has accepted the request.

Article 10

1. Without prejudice to Articles 5 to 9, the authorities of a Contracting State exercising jurisdiction to decide upon an application for divorce or legal separation of the parents of a child habitually resident in another Contracting State, or for annulment of their marriage, may, if the law of their State so provides, take measures directed to the protection of the person or property of such child if

a    at the time of commencement of the proceedings, one of his or her parents habitually resides in that State and one of them has parental responsibility in relation to the child, and

b    the jurisdiction of these authorities to take such measures has been accepted by the parents, as well as by any other person who has parental responsibility in relation to the child, and is in the best interests of the child.

2. The jurisdiction provided for by paragraph 1 to take measures for the protection of the child ceases as soon as the decision allowing or refusing the application for divorce, legal separation or annulment of the marriage has become final, or the proceedings have come to an end for another reason.

Article 11

1. In all cases of urgency, the authorities of any Contracting State in whose territory the child or property belonging to the child is present have jurisdiction to take any necessary measures of protection.

2. The measures taken under the preceding paragraph with regard to a child habitually resident in a Contracting State shall lapse as soon as the authorities which have jurisdiction under Articles 5 to 10 have taken the measures required by the situation.

3. The measures taken under paragraph 1 with regard to a child who is habitually resident in a non-Contracting State shall lapse in each Contracting State as soon as measures required by the situation and taken by the authorities of another State are recognised in the Contracting State in question.

Article 12

1. Subject to Article 7, the authorities of a Contracting State in whose territory the child or property belonging to the child is present have jurisdiction to take measures of a provisional character for the protection of the person or property of the child which have a territorial effect limited to the State in question, in so far as such measures are not incompatible with measures already taken by authorities which have jurisdiction under Articles 5 to 10.

2. The measures taken under the preceding paragraph with regard to a child habitually resident in a Contracting State shall lapse as soon as the authorities which have jurisdiction under Articles 5 to 10 have taken a decision in respect of the measures of protection which may be required by the situation.

3. The measures taken under paragraph 1 with regard to a child who is habitually resident in a non-Contracting State shall lapse in the Contracting State where the measures were taken as soon as measures required by the situation and taken by the authorities of another State are recognised in the Contracting State in question.

Article 13

1. The authorities of a Contracting State which have jurisdiction under Article 5 to 10 to take measures for the protection of the person or property of the child must abstain from exercising this jurisdiction if, at the time of the commencement of the proceedings, corresponding measures have been requested from the authorities of another Contracting State having jurisdiction under Articles 5 to 10 at the time of the request and are still under consideration.

2. The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not apply if the authorities before whom the request for measures was initially introduced have declined jurisdiction.

Article 14

The measures taken in application of Articles 5 to 10 remain in force according to their terms, even if a change of circumstances has eliminated the basis upon which jurisdiction was founded, so long as the authorities which have jurisdiction under the Convention have not modified, replaced or terminated such measures.

Chapter III — applicable law

Article 15

1. In exercising their jurisdiction under the provisions of Chapter II, the authorities of the Contracting States shall apply their own law.

2. However, in so far as the protection of the person or the property of the child requires, they may exceptionally apply or take into consideration the law of another State with which the situation has a substantial connection.

3. If the child's habitual residence changes to another Contracting State, the law of that other State governs, from the time of the change, the conditions of application of the measures taken in the State of the former habitual residence.

Article 16

1. The attribution or extinction of parental responsibility by operation of law, without the intervention of a judicial or administrative authority, is governed by the law of the State of the habitual residence of the child.

2. The attribution or extinction of parental responsibility by an agreement or a unilateral act, without intervention of a judicial or administrative authority, is governed by the law of the State of the child's habitual residence at the time when the agreement or unilateral act takes effect.

3. Parental responsibility which exists under the law of the State of the child's habitual residence subsists after a change of that habitual residence to another State.

4. If the child's habitual residence changes, the attribution of parental responsibility by operation of law to a person who does not already have such responsibility is governed by the law of the State of the new habitual residence.

Article 17

The exercise of parental responsibility is governed by the law of the State of the child's habitual residence. If the child's habitual residence changes, it is governed by the law of the State of the new habitual residence.

Article 18

The parental responsibility referred to in Article 16 may be terminated, or the conditions of its exercise modified, by measures taken under this Convention.

Article 19

1. The validity of a transaction entered into between a third party and another person who would be entitled to act as the child's legal representative under the law of the State where the transaction was concluded cannot be contested, and the third party cannot be held liable, on the sole ground that the other person was not entitled to act as the child's legal representative under the law designated by the provisions of this Chapter, unless the third party knew or should have known that the parental responsibility was governed by the latter law.

2. The preceding paragraph applies only if the transaction was entered into between persons present on the territory of the same State.

Article 20

The provisions of this Chapter apply even if the law designated by them is the law of a non-Contracting State.

Article 21

1. In this Chapter the term ‘law’ means the law in force in a State other than its choice of law rules.

2. However, if the law applicable according to Article 16 is that of a non-Contracting State and if the choice of law rules of that State designate the law of another non-Contracting State which would apply its own law, the law of the latter State applies. If that other non-Contracting State would not apply its own law, the applicable law is that designated by Article 16.

Article 22

The application of the law designated by the provisions of this Chapter can be refused only if this application would be manifestly contrary to public policy, taking into account the best interests of the child.

Chapter IV — recognition and enforcement

Article 23

1. The measures taken by the authorities of a Contracting State shall be recognised by operation of law in all other Contracting States.

2. Recognition may however be refused—

a    if the measure was taken by an authority whose jurisdiction was not based on one of the grounds provided for in Chapter II;

b    if the measure was taken, except in a case of urgency, in the context of a judicial or administrative proceeding, without the child having been provided the opportunity to be heard, in violation of fundamental principles of procedure of the requested State;

c    on the request of any person claiming that the measure infringes his or her parental responsibility, if such measure was taken, except in a case of urgency, without such person having been given an opportunity to be heard;

d    if such recognition is manifestly contrary to public policy of the requested State, taking into account the best interests of the child;

e    if the measure is incompatible with a later measure taken in the non-Contracting State of the habitual residence of the child, where this later measure fulfils the requirements for recognition in the requested State;

f    if the procedure provided in Article 33 has not been complied with.

Article 24

Without prejudice to Article 23, paragraph 1, any interested person may request from the competent authorities of a Contracting State that they decide on the recognition or non-recognition of a measure taken in another Contracting State. The procedure is governed by the law of the requested State.

Article 25

The authority of the requested State is bound by the findings of fact on which the authority of the State where the measure was taken based its jurisdiction.

Article 26

1. If measures taken in one Contracting State and enforceable there require enforcement in another Contracting State, they shall, upon request by an interested party, be declared enforceable or registered for the purpose of enforcement in that other State according to the procedure provided in the law of the latter State.

2. Each Contracting State shall apply to the declaration of enforceability or registration a simple and rapid procedure.

3. The declaration of enforceability or registration may be refused only for one of the reasons set out in Article 23, paragraph 2.

Article 27

Without prejudice to such review as is necessary in the application of the preceding Articles, there shall be no review of the merits of the measure taken.

Article 28

Measures taken in one Contracting State and declared enforceable, or registered for the purpose of enforcement, in another Contracting State shall be enforced in the latter State as if they had been taken by the authorities of that State. Enforcement takes place in accordance with the law of the requested State to the extent provided by such law, taking into consideration the best interests of the child.

Chapter V — co-operation

Article 29

1. A Contracting State shall designate a Central Authority to discharge the duties which are imposed by the Convention on such authorities.

2. Federal States, States with more than one system of law or States having autonomous territorial units shall be free to appoint more than one Central Authority and to specify the territorial or personal extent of their functions. Where a State has appointed more than one Central Authority, it shall designate the Central Authority to which any communication may be addressed for transmission to the appropriate Central Authority within that State.

Article 30

1. Central Authorities shall co-operate with each other and promote co-operation amongst the competent authorities in their States to achieve the purposes of the Convention.

2. They shall, in connection with the application of the Convention, take appropriate steps to provide information as to the laws of, and services available in, their States relating to the protection of children.

Article 31

The Central Authority of a Contracting State, either directly or through public authorities or other bodies, shall take all appropriate steps to—

a    facilitate the communications and offer the assistance provided for in Articles 8 and 9 and in this Chapter;

b    facilitate, by mediation, conciliation or similar means, agreed solutions for the protection of the person or property of the child in situations to which the Convention applies;

c    provide, on the request of a competent authority of another Contracting State, assistance in discovering the whereabouts of a child where it appears that the child may be present and in need of protection within the territory of the requested State.

Article 32

On a request made with supporting reasons by the Central Authority or other competent authority of any Contracting State with which the child has a substantial connection, the Central Authority of the Contracting State in which the child is habitually resident and present may, directly or through public authorities or other bodies,

a    provide a report on the situation of the child;

b    request the competent authority of its State to consider the need to take measures for the protection of the person or property of the child.

Article 33

1. If an authority having jurisdiction under Articles 5 to 10 contemplates the placement of the child in a foster family or institutional care, or the provision of care by kafala or an analogous institution, and if such placement or such provision of care is to take place in another Contracting State, it shall first consult with the Central Authority or other competent authority of the latter State. To that effect it shall transmit a report on the child together with the reasons for the proposed placement or provision of care.

2. The decision on the placement or provision of care may be made in the requesting State only if the Central Authority or other competent authority of the requested State has consented to the placement or provision of care, taking into account the child's best interests.

Article 34

1. Where a measure of protection is contemplated, the competent authorities under the Convention, if the situation of the child so requires, may request any authority of another Contracting State which has information relevant to the protection of the child to communicate such information.

2. A Contracting State may declare that requests under paragraph 1 shall be communicated to its authorities only through its Central Authority.

Article 35

1. The competent authorities of a Contracting State may request the authorities of another Contracting State to assist in the implementation of measures of protection taken under this Convention, especially in securing the effective exercise of rights of access as well as of the right to maintain direct contacts on a regular basis.

2. The authorities of a Contracting State in which the child does not habitually reside may, on the request of a parent residing in that State who is seeking to obtain or to maintain access to the child, gather information or evidence and may make a finding on the suitability of that parent to exercise access and on the conditions under which access is to be exercised. An authority exercising jurisdiction under Articles 5 to 10 to determine an application concerning access to the child, shall admit and consider such information, evidence and finding before reaching its decision.

3. An authority having jurisdiction under Articles 5 to 10 to decide on access may adjourn a proceeding pending the outcome of a request made under paragraph 2, in particular, when it is considering an application to restrict or terminate access rights granted in the State of the child's former habitual residence.

4. Nothing in this Article shall prevent an authority having jurisdiction under Articles 5 to 10 from taking provisional measures pending the outcome of the request made under paragraph 2.

Article 36

In any case where the child is exposed to a serious danger, the competent authorities of the Contracting State where measures for the protection of the child have been taken or are under consideration, if they are informed that the child's residence has changed to, or that the child is present in another State, shall inform the authorities of that other State about the danger involved and the measures taken or under consideration.

Article 37

An authority shall not request or transmit any information under this Chapter if to do so would, in its opinion, be likely to place the child's person or property in danger, or constitute a serious thereat to the liberty or life of a member of the child's family.

Article 38

1. Without prejudice to the possibility of imposing reasonable charges for the provision of services, Central Authorities and other public authorities of Contracting States shall bear their own costs in applying the provisions of this Chapter.

2. Any Contracting State may enter into agreements with one or more other Contracting States concerning the allocation of charges.

Article 39

Any Contracting State may enter into agreements with one or more other Contracting States with a view to improving the application of this Chapter in their mutual relations. The States which have concluded such an agreement shall transmit a copy to the depositary of the Convention.

Chapter VI — general provisions

Article 40

1. The authorities of the Contracting State of the child's habitual residence, or of the Contracting State where a measure of protection has been taken, may deliver to the person having parental responsibility or to the person entrusted with protection of the child's person or property, at his or her request, a certificate indicating the capacity in which that person is entitled to act and the powers conferred upon him or her.

2. The capacity and powers indicated in the certificate are presumed to be vested in that person, in the absence of proof to the contrary.

3. Each Contracting State shall designate the authorities competent to draw up the certificate.

Article 41

Personal data gathered or transmitted under the Convention shall be used only for the purposes for which they were gathered or transmitted.

Article 42

The authorities to whom information is transmitted shall ensure its confidentiality, in accordance with the law of their State.

Article 43

All documents forwarded or delivered under this Convention shall be exempt from legalisation or any analogous formality.

Article 44

Each Contracting State may designate the authorities to which requests under Articles 8, 9 and 33 are to be addressed.

Article 45

1. The designations referred to in Articles 29 and 44 shall be communicated to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

2. The declaration referred to in Article 34, paragraph 2, shall be made to the depositary of the Convention.

Article 46

A Contracting State in which different systems of law or sets of rules of law apply to the protection of the child and his or her property shall not be bound to apply the rules of the Convention to conflicts solely between such different systems or sets of rules of law.

Article 47

In relation to a State in which two or more systems of law or sets of rules of law with regard to any matter dealt with in this Convention apply in different territorial units—

1. any reference to habitual residence in that State shall be construed as referring to habitual residence in a territorial unit;

2. any reference to the presence of the child in that State shall be construed as referring to presence in a territorial unit;

3. any reference to the location of property of the child in that State shall be construed as referring to location of property of the child in a territorial unit;

4. any reference to the State of which the child is a national shall be construed as referring to the territorial unit designated by the law of that State or, in the absence of relevant rules, to the territorial unit with which the child has the closest connection;

5. any reference to the State whose authorities are seised of an application for divorce or legal separation of the child's parents or for annulment of their marriage shall be construed as referring to the territorial unit whose authorities are seised of such application;

6. any reference to the State with which the child has a substantial connection shall be construed as referring to the territorial unit with which the child has such connection;

7. any reference to the State to which the child has been removed or in which he or she has been retained shall be construed as referring to the relevant territorial unit to which the child has been removed or in which he or she has been retained;

8. any reference to bodies or authorities of that State, other than Central Authorities, shall be construed as referring to those authorised to act in the relevant territorial unit;

9. any reference to the law or procedure or authority of the State in which a measure has been taken shall be construed as referring to the law or procedure or authority of the territorial unit in which such measure was taken;

10. any reference to the law or procedure or authority of the requested State shall be construed as referring to the law or procedure or authority of the territorial unit in which recognition or enforcement is sought.

Article 48

For the purpose of identifying the applicable law under Chapter III, in relation to a State which comprises two or more territorial units each of which has its own system of law or set of rules of law in respect of matters covered by this Convention, the following rules apply—

a    if there are rules in force in such a State identifying which territorial unit's law is applicable, the law of that unit applies;

b    in the absence of such rules, the law of the relevant territorial unit as defined in Article 47 applies.

Article 49

For the purpose of identifying the applicable law under Chapter III, in relation to a State which has two or more systems of law or sets of rules of law applicable to different categories of persons in respect of matters covered by this Convention, the following rules apply—

a    if there are rules in force in such a State identifying which among such laws applies, that law applies;

b    in the absence of such rules, the law of the system or the set of rules of law with which the child has the closest connection applies.

Article 50

This Convention shall not affect the application of the Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, as between Parties to both Conventions. Nothing, however, precludes provisions of this Convention from being invoked for the purposes of obtaining the return of a child who has been wrongfully removed or retained or of organising access rights.

Article 51

In relations between the Contracting States this Convention replaces the Convention of 5 October 1961 concerning the powers of authorities and the law applicable in respect of the protection of minors , and the Convention governing the guardianship of minors, signed at The Hague 12 June 1902, without prejudice to the recognition of measures taken under the Convention of 5 October 1961 mentioned above.

Article 52

1. This Convention does not affect any international instrument to which Contracting States are Parties and which contains provisions on matters governed by the Convention, unless a contrary declaration is made by the States Parties to such instrument.

2. This Convention does not affect the possibility for one or more Contracting States to conclude agreements which contain, in respect of children habitually resident in any of the States Parties to such agreements, provisions on matters governed by this Convention.

3. Agreements to be concluded by one or more Contracting States on matters within the scope of this Convention do not affect, in the relationship of such States with other Contracting States, the application of the provisions of this Convention.

4. The preceding paragraphs also apply to uniform laws based on special ties of a regional or other nature between the States concerned.

Article 53

1. The Convention shall apply to measures only if they are taken in a State after the Convention has entered into force for that State.

2. The Convention shall apply to the recognition and enforcement of measures taken after its entry into force as between the State where the measures have been taken and the requested State.

Article 54

1. Any communication sent to the Central Authority or to another authority of a Contracting State shall be in the original language, and shall be accompanied by a translation into the official language or one of the official languages of the other State or, where that is not feasible, a translation into French or English.

2. However, a Contracting State may, by making a reservation in accordance with Article 60, object to the use of either French or English, but not both.

Article 55

1. A Contracting State may, in accordance with Article 60,

a    reserve the jurisdiction of its authorities to take measures directed to the protection of property of a child situated on its territory;

b    reserve the right not to recognise any parental responsibility or measure in so far as it is incompatible with any measure taken by its authorities in relation to that property.

2. The reservation may be restricted to certain categories of property.

Article 56

The Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law shall at regular intervals convoke a Special Commission in order to review the practical operation of the Convention.

Chapter VII — final clauses

Article 57

1. The Convention shall be open for signature by the States which were Members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law at the time of its Eighteenth Session.

2. It shall be ratified, accepted or approved and the instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, depositary of the Convention.

Article 58

1. Any other State may accede to the Convention after it has entered into force in accordance with Article 61, paragraph 1.

2. The instrument of accession shall be deposited with the depositary.

3. Such accession shall have effect only as regards the relations between the acceding State and those Contracting States which have not raised an objection to its accession in the six months after the receipt of the notification referred to in sub-paragraph b of Article 63. Such an objection may also be raised by States at the time when they ratify, accept or approve the Convention after an accession. Any such objection shall be notified to the depositary.

Article 59

1. If a State has two or more territorial units in which different systems of law are applicable in relation to matters dealt with in this Convention, it may at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession declare that the Convention shall extend to all its territorial units or only to one or more of them and may modify this declaration by submitting another declaration at any time.

2. Any such declaration shall be notified to the depositary and shall state expressly the territorial units to which the Convention applies.

3. If a State makes no declaration under this Article, the Convention is to extend to all territorial units of that State.

Article 60

1. Any State may, not later than the time of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, or at the time of making a declaration in terms of Article 59, make one or both of the reservations provided for in Articles 54, paragraph 2, and 55. No other reservation shall be permitted.

2. Any State may at any time withdraw a reservation it has made. The withdrawal shall be notified to the depositary.

3. The reservation shall cease to have effect on the first day of the third calendar month after the notification referred to in the preceding paragraph.

Article 61

1. The Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval referred to in Article 57.

2. Thereafter the Convention shall enter into force—

a    for each State ratifying, accepting or approving it subsequently, on the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession;

b    for each State acceding, on the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the expiration of the period of six months provided in Article 58, paragraph 3;

c    for a territorial unit to which the Convention has been extended in conformity with Article 59, on the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the notification referred to in that Article.

Article 62

1. A State Party to the Convention may denounce it by a notification in writing addressed to the depositary. The denunciation may be limited to certain territorial units to which the Convention applies.

2. The denunciation takes effect on the first day of the month following the expiration of twelve months after the notification is received by the depositary. Where a longer period for the denunciation to take effect is specified in the notification, the denunciation takes effect upon the expiration of such longer period.

Article 63

The depositary shall notify the States Members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the States which have acceded in accordance with Article 58 of the following—

a    the signatures, ratifications, acceptances and approvals referred to in Article 57;

b    the accessions and objections raised to accessions referred to in Article 58;

c    the date on which the Convention enters into force in accordance with Article 61;

d    the declarations referred to in Articles 34, paragraph 2, and 59;

e    the agreements referred to in Article 39;

f    the reservations referred to in Articles 54, paragraph 2, and 55 and the withdrawals referred to in Article 60, paragraph 2;

g    the denunciations referred to in Article 62.

In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed this Convention.

Done at The Hague, on the 19th day of October 1996, in the English and French languages, both texts being equally authentic, in a single copy which shall be deposited in the archives of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and of which a certified copy shall be sent, through diplomatic channels, to each of the States Members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law at the date of its Eighteenth Session.