Council on General Affairs and Policy – Conclusions & Decisions now available!

The Council on General Affairs and Policy (CGAP) of the HCCH met online from 28 February to 4 March 2022, with over 450 participants representing 75 HCCH Members, 5 non-Member States, 16 observer organisations and members of the Permanent Bureau. The Conclusions & Decisions adopted by CGAP are now available in English and French.

In terms of normative work, CGAP approved the publication of the Practical Guide to Access to Justice for International Tourists and Visitors and the Practitioners’ Tool: Cross-Border Recognition and Enforcement of Agreements Reached in the Course of Family Matters Involving Children; mandated two further meetings of the Working Group on matters related to jurisdiction in transnational civil or commercial litigation; and endorsed further exploratory work on the private international law implications of the digital economy. Across several projects, CGAP welcomed the cooperation with UNCITRAL, Unidroit, and WIPO, including with respect to work in the areas of insolvency proceedings and intellectual property.

In relation to post-Convention services and assistance, CGAP welcomed the preparations for the upcoming meetings of the Special Commission on the 2007 Child Support Convention and its Protocol, to be held in person in May 2022; the Special Commission on the 1993 Adoption Convention, to be held online in July 2022; the Special Commission on the 2000 Protection of Adults Convention, provisionally scheduled for November 2022; as well as the Special Commission on the 1965 Service, 1970 Evidence and 1980 Access to Justice Conventions and the Special Commission on the 1980 Child Abduction and 1996 Child Protection Conventions, both provisionally scheduled for 2023.

CGAP also approved the second edition of the Practical Handbook on the Operation of the Apostille Convention; mandated the finalisation of the Toolkit for Preventing and Addressing Illicit Practices in Intercountry Adoption, and the Practical Handbook on the 2000 Protection of Adults Convention; and welcomed the preparations for the 2022 Commercial and Financial Law Conference, to be held in September 2022.

From a good governance perspective, CGAP welcomed the work of the Informal Group of Ambassadors in support of future discussions on the strategic development of the HCCH. CGAP approved the extension of the current Strategic Plan and mandated the establishment of a Working Group for the development of a new draft Strategic Plan. This Working Group will also consider, as a matter of priority, possible models for regional groups used by the HCCH. CGAP also mandated the PB to actively seek appropriate representation across geographic regions, and from underrepresented Member States, when proposing Chairs of meetings of the HCCH.

Finally, CGAP elected Dr Marcelo De Nardi (Brazil) as its new Chair, Ms Yael Weiner (Israel) as its Vice-Chair and thanked Mr Andrew Walter (Australia) as outgoing Chair for his service and dedication to the HCCH throughout his tenure.