Child Abduction within the European Union

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The key instrument providing for a worldwide regulation of international parental child abduction has long been the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child. The Convention has been in force since 1983 and has proved a phenomenal success. Within the European Union, the operation of the 1980 Convention has been modified by certain provisions of the Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 Concerning Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and the Matters of Parental Responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000. The Regulation entered into force on 1 March 2005 and applies to child abduction cases between the EU Member States except for Denmark. This regional instrument aims at creating even more ambitious rules on child abduction by imposing stricter obligations to assure the prompt return of a child. Despite the ambitious goal of strengthening the deterrence of child abduction within the borders of the Union, the new child abduction regime did not receive a warm welcome by commentators. Quite the contrary, it provoked a storm of criticism as the value of parallel international instruments was questioned.
The book critically evaluates the evolution of the new intra-EU child abduction regime and examines to what extent the European Union complied with its standards of good legislative drafting during the negotiations on the Brussels IIbis Regulation. It also seeks to demonstrate that there was no real legal need for the involvement of the European Union in the area of child abduction, and tightening the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention return mechanism. Not less importantly, the book aspires to reveal how effectively the new return mechanism operated in the first year of the effectivenness of the Regulation and what are the points of concern in respect to the functioning of the new child abduction scheme. Finally, it investigates whether the Brussels IIbis Regulation has any added value in the area of child abduction.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherHart Publishing
Number of pages250
ISBN (Print)9781849463973, 1849463972
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2013


  • child abduction
  • European Union


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