Singapore becomes 76th HCCH Member; Brazil accedes to 1970 Evidence Convention; Iraq accedes to 1980 Child Abduction Convention; European Union approves 2007 Child Support Convention

On 9 April 2014, during the Council on General Affairs of the Hague Conference, Singapore became the 76th Member of the Hague Conference on Private International Law by depositing its instrument of acceptance of the Statute of the Organisation.

On the same occasion, Brazil acceded to the Hague Convention of 18 March 1970 on the taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters which now counts 58 Contracting States

Further, Iraq acceded to the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which now counts 92 Contracting States. Corrigendum: the Depositary has informed the Permanent Bureau that the official date of the deposit of the instrument of accession is 21 March 2014, the date on which Iraq formally submitted an advance copy of this instrument;  this explains why the Convention will enter into force for Iraq on 1 June 2014 (as opposed to 1 July, which would have been the date of entry of force if the relevant date of deposit had been 9 April 2014).

Finally, the European Union approved the Hague Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (hereinafter the 2007 Hague Child Support Convention).

Background Information of the 2007 Hague Child Support Convention

The European Union is the fifth Contracting Party to join the 2007 Hague Child Support Convention, which came into force on 1 January 2013. As of 1 August 2014, the 2007 Convention will apply between, on the one hand, all Members of the European Union (with the exception of Denmark) and, on the other hand, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Norway and Ukraine. As a result, 31 States will be connected to the 2007 Convention.
In relations between Contracting Parties, the 2007 Hague Child Support Convention replaces the United Nations Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance of 20 June 1956 to which 23 Members of the European Union are also Contracting States.

The major features of the 2007 Hague Child Support Convention are:

  • a broad-based system for the recognition and enforcement of maintenance decisions made in Contracting States - combined with expedited procedures;
  • a system of co-operation between Central Authorities in each State to facilitate processing international applications;
  • the provision of virtually cost-free services for child support applications, including, when needed, free legal assistance in all the Contracting States;
  • an obligation to provide prompt and effective measures to enforce child support orders coming from other States.