Swiss Law Undermines the Hague Convention

October 2008 Newsletter of the International Family Law Committee of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association.

By Jeremy D. Morley, co-chair:

Switzerland has enacted a new law that is purportedly designed to allow the Swiss courts to apply the Hague Abduction Convention in a gentler and fairer way.

Having reviewed the new act it is my humble opinion that the new law allows -- and indeed encourages -- the Swiss courts to evade and violate the Hague Convention.

Public opinion in Switzerland turned against the Hague Convention when cases were publicized there, and debated in Parliament, concerning abductions into Switzerland by Swiss mothers who were the primary care providers of the children. 

Apparently all but one of the recent cases decided by the Swiss Federal Tribunal had involved abductions by the child's mother, which was even higher than the world average of 70%.

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