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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction: pill or placebo?
Author:Nicholson, Caroline M.A.ISNI
Periodical:The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:international agreements
Abstract:This article is based upon research for two chapters of a doctoral thesis entitled 'The recognition and enforcement of foreign custody orders and the associated problem of international parental kidnapping: a model for South Africa' (University of South Africa, 1998). South Africa's accession to and implementation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a meaningful step in the fight against parental child abduction but supplementary measures are required as the convention deals only with international abductions and fails to deal with interstate abductions and recognition and enforcement of foreign custody orders. This article reviews the implementation of the convention in South Africa, the UK, Australia and the USA, highlights the shortcomings of the convention revealed by this comparative study, and attempts to suggest measures to address these shortcomings. It deals with mechanisms for the use of the Hague Convention, cases when the convention can be invoked, defences to Hague Convention proceedings, the South African context, non-convention cases, general measures which could be applied to all cases of parental child abduction, and preventative measures. The complexity of the problem of parental child snatching demands a holistic approach to its resolution including a review of the position of the courts. A special project committee of the South African Law Commission should be established to investigate the possibility of further regulation under the Hague Convention implementation legislation and a possible SADC convention. Fair and precise custody orders are probably the best insurance against child snatching. Notes, ref.