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Barnets bästa och barnets vilja i internationella förhållanden

Karlsson, Erica LU (2011) JURM01 20111
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Ett olovligt bortförande eller kvarhållande föreligger när ett barn under sexton år har blivit bortfört eller kvarhållet i en stat, som inte utgör barnets hemvist, i strid med vårdnadshavarens vilja. 1980 års Haagkonvention, som har införlivats i svensk rätt genom verkställighetslagen (VerkstL), har utarbetats i syfte att skydda de barn som har blivit olovligen bortförda eller kvarhållna mellan landsgränserna. Huvudregeln är att barnet skall återföras till sin hemviststat så skyndsamt som möjligt för att skydda barnet mot de skadliga effekter som kan uppstå av ett olovligt bortförande eller kvarhållande.

Syftet med uppsatsen är att utreda på vilket sätt den svenska domstolen har tolkat 1980 års Haagkonventions bestämmelse om barnets... (More)
Ett olovligt bortförande eller kvarhållande föreligger när ett barn under sexton år har blivit bortfört eller kvarhållet i en stat, som inte utgör barnets hemvist, i strid med vårdnadshavarens vilja. 1980 års Haagkonvention, som har införlivats i svensk rätt genom verkställighetslagen (VerkstL), har utarbetats i syfte att skydda de barn som har blivit olovligen bortförda eller kvarhållna mellan landsgränserna. Huvudregeln är att barnet skall återföras till sin hemviststat så skyndsamt som möjligt för att skydda barnet mot de skadliga effekter som kan uppstå av ett olovligt bortförande eller kvarhållande.

Syftet med uppsatsen är att utreda på vilket sätt den svenska domstolen har tolkat 1980 års Haagkonventions bestämmelse om barnets vilja, i de fall när ett olovligt bortfört eller kvarhållet barn har motsatt sig en överflyttning, och om domstolens beslut är förenligt med barnets bästa. Principen barnets bästa innebär att alla beslut rörande barn skall innefatta ett barnperspektiv och att barnets intresse skall komma i främst rummet. Enligt FN:s barnkonvention är det för barnets bästa att barnet kommer till tals i alla ärenden som berör denne. I civilutskottets utredning har det framkommit att genomsnittsåldern bland olovligt bortförda barn är sex år. I svensk rätt synes dock svenska domstolarna fortfarande tillämpa tolvårsgränsen. I och med att flertal bortförda barn är under tolv år, tar den svenska domstolen i de flesta fall inte hänsyn till barnets vilja.

Enligt barnkonventionen är svenska myndigheter skyldiga att göra en individuell bedömning av barnets situation i enskilt fall. Svensk domstol kan tillämpa vägransgrunderna uppställda i Haagkonventionen individuellt för att bedöma vad som är barnets bästa. Domstolen har dock valt att tolka vägransgrunderna i Haagkonventionen restriktivt. Skyndsam återlämning av barnet skall således komma i första hand. Haagkonventionens syfte är att förhindra att barnet blir bortförd från sin faktiska vårdnadshavare. Det har emellertid framkommit i nationella och internationella utredningar att det är i de flesta fall den faktiska vårdnadshavaren som har fört bort barnet. Den svenska domstolens tolkning av reglerna i Haagkonventionen ser därför inte till det barnets bästa i varje enskilt fall, utan till barnets bästa generellt.

I och med att den svenska domstolen i de flesta fall inte tar hänsyn till det bortförda barnets vilja och inte tillgodoser barnets behov i varje enskilt fall, anser jag att tolkningen av bestämmelsen om barnets vilja i Haagkonventionen inte är förenligt med principen barnets bästa. Enligt min mening bör den svenska domstolen alltid göra en helhetsbedömning av barnets situation i varje enskilt fall, oavsett barnets ålder. Framförallt i de fall barnet har motsatt sig en överflyttning och har vistats en längre tid i Sverige med sin faktiska vårdnadshavare. (Less)
Abstract
The 1980 Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention), incorporated into Swedish law by the verkställighetslagen (VerkstL), aims to protect children from the harmful effects of cross-border abduction. Under the Hague Convention, the legal guardian of the child in his or her state of habitual residence enjoys ‘rights of custody’ over that child. The removal or retention of the child contrary to such rights is wrongful and the child must be returned. The aim of the Hague Convention is to protect the child from the harm of an abrupt removal and to secure his or her prompt return.

This paper will consider the application by the Swedish courts of the Hague Convention in cases where the abducted child... (More)
The 1980 Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention), incorporated into Swedish law by the verkställighetslagen (VerkstL), aims to protect children from the harmful effects of cross-border abduction. Under the Hague Convention, the legal guardian of the child in his or her state of habitual residence enjoys ‘rights of custody’ over that child. The removal or retention of the child contrary to such rights is wrongful and the child must be returned. The aim of the Hague Convention is to protect the child from the harm of an abrupt removal and to secure his or her prompt return.

This paper will consider the application by the Swedish courts of the Hague Convention in cases where the abducted child has objected to being returned. In particular it will examine the compatibility of the courts’ approach with the principle of the child’s best interests. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) it is in the child’s best interests that courts take into account his or her views. The Swedish courts, however, adhere to the ‘twelve year-old rule’ whereby the opinions of children under twelve will not be considered. According to the civilutskottet’s research, the average age of an abducted child is six years. The views of the great majority of children who object to being returned will therefore not be considered.

The CRC obliges states parties to conduct an individual assessment of each child’s specific situation. The Hague Convention includes a number of provisions in which the Swedish courts are able to individually evaluate the best interest of the child by applying these provisions. However, the approach adopted by the Swedish courts has been to overlook these provisions in favour of the general rule requiring the child’s return. The aim of the Hague Convention is to prevent that the child will be removed from their primary carer. According to international and national research, in the majority of cases the person who abducts the child is the child’s primary carer and also their legal guardian. It may therefore be in the best interest of the child’s that he or she remains with that person and not be returned. The courts’ approach that focuses on the prompt return of the child may therefore overlook the child’s specific interests.

Consequently it is argued that the Swedish courts’ approach is inconsistent with the principle of the best interests of the child. The child’s true wish is not taken into account and his or her individual circumstances not considered. In my opinion, it would be in the best interests of the child that the Swedish courts always undertake an assessment of the child’s specific situation, irrespective of their age. This is especially the case where the child does not want to be returned to his or her habitual residence and is content living in Sweden with his or her primary carer. (Less)
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author
Karlsson, Erica LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Sweden’s approach to international child abduction - in the best interest of the child?
course
JURM01 20111
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
familjerätt
language
Swedish
id
1969733
date added to LUP
2011-05-26 11:31:40
date last changed
2011-05-26 11:31:40
@misc{1969733,
  abstract     = {The 1980 Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention), incorporated into Swedish law by the verkställighetslagen (VerkstL), aims to protect children from the harmful effects of cross-border abduction.  Under the Hague Convention, the legal guardian of the child in his or her state of habitual residence enjoys ‘rights of custody’ over that child.  The removal or retention of the child contrary to such rights is wrongful and the child must be returned.  The aim of the Hague Convention is to protect the child from the harm of an abrupt removal and to secure his or her prompt return.

This paper will consider the application by the Swedish courts of the Hague Convention in cases where the abducted child has objected to being returned.  In particular it will examine the compatibility of the courts’ approach with the principle of the child’s best interests. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) it is in the child’s best interests that courts take into account his or her views.  The Swedish courts, however, adhere to the ‘twelve year-old rule’ whereby the opinions of children under twelve will not be considered.  According to the civilutskottet’s research, the average age of an abducted child is six years.  The views of the great majority of children who object to being returned will therefore not be considered.

The CRC obliges states parties to conduct an individual assessment of each child’s specific situation.  The Hague Convention includes a number of provisions in which the Swedish courts are able to individually evaluate the best interest of the child by applying these provisions. However, the approach adopted by the Swedish courts has been to overlook these provisions in favour of the general rule requiring the child’s return.  The aim of the Hague Convention is to prevent that the child will be removed from their primary carer. According to international and national research, in the majority of cases the person who abducts the child is the child’s primary carer and also their legal guardian. It may therefore be in the best interest of the child’s that he or she remains with that person and not be returned. The courts’ approach that focuses on the prompt return of the child may therefore overlook the child’s specific interests.  

Consequently it is argued that the Swedish courts’ approach is inconsistent with the principle of the best interests of the child.  The child’s true wish is not taken into account and his or her individual circumstances not considered.  In my opinion, it would be in the best interests of the child that the Swedish courts always undertake an assessment of the child’s specific situation, irrespective of their age.  This is especially the case where the child does not want to be returned to his or her habitual residence and is content living in Sweden with his or her primary carer.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Erica},
  keyword      = {familjerätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Barnets bästa och barnets vilja i internationella förhållanden},
  year         = {2011},
}