Vulnerable adults – An important step forward

Approximately 130 experts from more than 35 States representing all continents gathered from 5 to 7 December 2018 in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss "Cross-border Protection of Vulnerable Adults" in a conference organised jointly by the European Commission and the HCCH.

Experts stressed the practical importance of the topic. Discussions included current needs of vulnerable adults in cross-border situations, States’ responses and experiences in this regard, and possible future work in this area of the law. Contracting Parties to the HCCH Convention of 13 January 2000 on the International Protection of Adults shared their experiences with the implementation and operation of the Convention. A number of non-Contracting Parties also shared their recent implementation experience. The conference offered an unique forum to discuss cross-border protection of vulnerable adults from the perspectives of intergovernmental organisations such as the United Nations, the HCCH, the European Union, and the Council of Europe, as well as professional organisations such as the International Union of Notaries and the European Law Institute, and service providers such as Dementia Alliance & Alzheimer Disease International, AGE Platform Europe, financial institutions, and STEP. The Conference also discussed the possible need for additional legal norms and / or co-operation mechanisms in this area, the need for post-Convention services and the development of good practices. More specifically, the conference discussed the possibility to abolish exequatur, the provision of more party autonomy, the use of consular affairs services, the benefits of direct judicial communications and the development of model forms and certificates as well as electronic registries.

The Conclusions and Recommendations that were adopted by consensus at the end of the joint conference are available here. An agenda, including the bios of moderators and speakers and their presentations, is available here.