- legal delay encourages international child abduction;
- it encourages left-behind parents to pursue the "self-help" route and re-abduct the child;
- abductors are rewarded with custody whether legal or de facto; and
- it cheats the Hague Convention treaty partner from which the child has been abducted and compromises the trust and reciprocity enjoyed when a Brazilian parent invokes the treaty for the return of a child to Brazil.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
The Scales of Justice Must be Balanced by Ricardo Zamariola
I came across this highly succinct article published in Brazil (obviously in Portuguese but I do not know who made the translation so cannot give credit) - the article itself was written by the Brazilian lawyer, Ricardo Zamariola Jr. Zamariola represented David Goldman in his six-year battle to recover Sean Goldman back to his home in New Jersey.
While this article is written from the perspective of improving the Brazilian legal process for handling Hague Convention cases, the truth is every country has something to learn and could overhaul existing processes to ensure the four-fold issues highlighted by Mr Zamariola regarding judicial sluggishness, are addressed:
One issue which appears to be left is the lack of compliance after a child is returned to their state of habitual residence - Hague Convention orders for the interests of the child, must be complied with (undertakings); proceedings which are then initiated or recommenced must be heard promptly and effectively and it goes without saying, fairly. As the Convention is a civil remedy, it is important that the child is not simply moved from one parent/jurisdiction which is denying the child their rights, to a left-behind parent who then re-imposes the denial of the child to the abducting parent to the detriment of the child.
If David Goldman's wife, Bruna Bianchi was still alive, Sean Goldman should not be denied contact and visitation with his abducting mother, unless there were adjudicated reasons why it would not be Sean's best interests to have that contact. In Sean's case it is moot as Bruna is dead, but one issue which is frequently overlooked amidst the very charged emotions involved is that the Hague Convention is a civil and not a criminal remedy. The Hague Convention should not be used, and its stated aim is certainly not, to deny a child their basic human rights - a right to both mother and father. It is a fine balancing act requiring sensitive, yet robust, judicial management.
Numerous countries should take note - the United States not least.
Here is the article and a link to the original:
Posted by Emily's Dad at 6:04 PM