FEBRUARY 01, 2017
Last month, the World Affairs Council of Oregon, in partnership with the law firm Gevurtz Menashe, hosted a delegation of Japanese and Oregon attorneys, mediators and court personnel to learn about ways in which cases brought under the Hague Child Abduction Convention have been resolved (see specific objectives below). The Hague Child Abduction Convention is a multilateral treaty that works to secure return of a child abducted by a parent and relocated from one member country to another.
The Japanese delegates were invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program, and arranged by the Institute of International Education. They began their tour in Washington D.C., followed by a brief meeting in Miami, and concluded with visits to Eugene and Portland.
The Portland meeting was facilitated by Lewis & Clark alumna Kathy Root JD’84 BA’80 and Bradley Lechman-Su who are recognized authorities, both locally and nationally, on interstate and international family law issues and often become involved in international child abduction cases.
“We were delighted to host the Japanese delegates and share insights and experiences gained by handling these challenging cases for many years. Having Japan as a US Hague Child Abduction treaty partner is an important development in private international law,” said Root.
The US Department of State outlined the following specific objectives for the delegation:
- To examine the enforcement of Hague court decisions in the United States, so that Hague Abduction Convention cases can be processed as justly and efficiently as possible in Japan;
- To look at the resolution of current cases of International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA) and the implementation of the ratified Hague Abduction Convention;
- To interact with lawyers, judges, law enforcement officers and academics who specialize in Hague Abduction Convention, family law, divorce and child custody law, and visitation rights;
- To enhance the participants’ understanding of mediation and how authorities utilize it both informally and formally in the United States; and
- To explore governmental and nongovernmental services available to victims of domestic violence and child abuse.