GUYANA SET TO HOST HAGUE CONVENTION CONFERENCE JULY 13-15, 2016
The Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Attorney General’s Chambers, in partnership with the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Guyana, will be hosting the Hague Convention Conference under the theme “International Family Law, Legal Cooperation and Commerce; Promoting Human Rights and Cross-Border Trade in Guyana through the Hague Conventions.”
During a press conference today at the Attorney General’s Chambers, Attorney General (AG) Hon. Basil Williams explained that the conference, which will be held from July 13-15, 2016, will see the attendance of Attorneys General and Judges from CARICOM countries, the wider Caribbean including Curaçao, Aruba, Turks and Caicos and the Cayman Islands and South American countries such as Brazil and Argentina. Local stakeholders include members of the local judiciary, the Child Care Protection Agency, the Bar Associations, the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers, non-governmental organisations relating to children and the Private Sector Commission.
The Conference will be opened by H.E. President Brigadier David Granger at the Opening Ceremony slated for July 13 at the Pegasus Hotel and will be attended by the Secretary General of the HCCH and the UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
According to Minister Williams, the conference will comprise of two days of working sessions. On July 14, the focus will be on International Family Law and the Hague Conventions in this regard. The subjects of the sessions for this day will include the Child Abduction, Adoption, Child Protection and Child Maintenance Conventions and a discussion on the International Hague Network of Judges. On July 15, the focus will be on Legal Co-operation and Commerce and the Hague Conventions in this regard. The subjects of the sessions for this day will be the Service, Evidence and Access to Justice, Apostille and Choice of Court Conventions in addition to the e-App Programme and the Hague Choice of Law Principles.
As regards the purpose of the Conference, UNICEF Representative for Guyana-Ms. Marianne Flach, explained that the expected results of the conference are as follows:
- Increase in local/regional knowledge and leadership in the subject matter of the Hague Conventions
- Establishment of position for Guyana’s membership to the HCCH;
3. Determination of an appointment of local (Guyana/Caribbean) judges to the Hague Judicial Network and
4. Development of a road map for ratification of the Conventions.
Ms. Flach further explained the importance of the conference in light of migration and abduction in the form of adoption; issues which affect children worldwide. Many unaccompanied children migrate from Syria to Europe and many children from Guyana, Suriname, Haiti and Mexico are abducted in the form of adoptions. There is a need for laws in place to protect these children and this conference shows a proactive effort to put the legal systems is in place.